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  • Writer's pictureChristina Oyelowo

Donald Trump "Creating His Own Platform" & Possible Repercussions

Creator: SAUL LOEB | Credit: AFP via Getty Images

Following perhaps the most contested election in United States history and the successful inauguration of Joe Biden, many critics and supporters alike of former President Donald Trump are curious as to what is next in store for number 45. Following the insurrection at the capital, many social media platforms acted swiftly to remove Trump from their platforms citing him as a threat to peace and stability. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook stated that his reasoning surrounding the suspension and possible removal of Trump’s accounts was due to… “use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.” Weeks later, Trump’s accounts remain unavailable on most major platforms. Throughout his presidency, Trump was known for using social media in a previously unseen way to connect with his followers. However, in light of his ban from most networks, it seems the former President is now looking into new ways to reach his supporters.

Initially, it seemed that Trump would be able to address this issue by moving to the conservative social media app, Parler. However, following backlash, Parler was removed from both Apple and Google Stores and additionally lost its hosting platform provided by Amazon. This, however, doesn’t seem to have phased plans for Trump- at least according to those closest to him. Following his initial removal from Twitter, Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale stated, “I believe the best avenue for POTUS is to use his own app to speak to his followers”. Given his connections as a former businessman, one would think that creating his platform would be a simple task for Mr. Trump, but on further reflection, the former president might find this to be harder than expected.

By creating his platform, Trump may not receive the necessary support he needs to make the product a success. It’s no question that Trump’s rhetoric as president was offensive to many people and often inappropriate, to say the least. It appears that the consequences of such speech have finally affected Trump’s business relationships. Corporate America throughout 2020 has made efforts to appeal to social justice and activist causes as made evident following the BLM protests that happened across the country. Following the attacks on the Capitol, political donations had dried up for Republican Party members, and it seems Trump is no exception. Financial donations and partnerships with Trump’s non-political entities are also under threat with a record number of businesses cutting ties with the Trump Organization. Even if Trump wanted to create his platform, it’s difficult to say if it would be met with a wide reception.

Additionally, the target audience that Trump may appeal to could be considerably smaller than what he was used to. Before his removal on Twitter, Trump’s account had nearly 88 million users, and he also had high followings on Facebook and Instagram. By creating his own network, Trump would likely only be preaching to his loyal conservative fan base, versus millions of other users who could’ve accessed his account previously on other major platforms. As a person who thrives in the spotlight and front of large audiences, it seems unlikely that Trump would be satisfied with having a small following after holding one of the most influential offices in the world.

Furthermore, a Trump-specific platform could very well cause more harm than good. Many of Trump’s previous tweets and statements have been tied to putting national interests, security, and safety concerns at risk. By creating his own platform, likely to have little to no moderation, who’s to say that Trump may not be responsible for inciting further uprisings? The primary concern that social media CEO’s had when they first banned Trump’s accounts’ in early 2021 was that the former POTUS was using his platforms to incite violence. His fanbase, which openly consists of far-right groups, White supremacists, and other hate groups, could easily be emboldened through a new platform. And let’s not forget that during his presidency, ‘fake news’ reached all-time high levels, with Trump making over 30,000 false claims during his time in office. With his platform, Trump would be given free rein to declare whatever he pleases, potentially leading to safety concerns for thousands.

While free speech is a constitutionally given right, we must be concerned when free speech is used to harm, threaten, or jeopardize the safety of others- all of which could be real possibilities if Trump were to create his own platform. Until then, we must take it amongst ourselves to combat harmful speech and false statements wherever we see them. We must additionally exercise due diligence regarding the facts that encounter and ensuring that they are in reality, factual. Today, we have to live in an age where we must always be critical of those around us and take it upon ourselves to vet the sources we get information from.


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