“What Facebook, Twitter and Google have done is an absolute disgrace. Freedom of speech has been taken away from the President of the United States because madmen on the radical left are afraid of the truth, but the truth will come out anyway, bigger and stronger than ever ”, fulminated Donald Trump immediately after the supervisory board of Facebook made its decision and confirmed the ban of messages on his platform and that of Instagram, Wednesday, May 5. Before reassessment in the coming months.
→ CONTEXT. Facebook confirms Donald Trump’s ban on social media
Donald Trump’s ire awoke and blew… by way of a press release. Since his ouster from the main social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) in January, the former US president continues to speak out against what he considers “electoral fraud”. But his word struggles to impose. No sooner had he left the White House than he promised himself to come back. Very quickly, the idea of a new social network for and by him emerged. 24 hours before Facebook’s decision and after more than four months of gestation, he was born.
The fall of the master of tweets
“In the office of Donald Trump”, so named, is a simple column added to the campaign site of the former president. “It is a non-social media which takes itself for a social media but which has no social element”, laugh at him Washington post. A blog, therefore.
→ ANALYSIS. Impeachment trial: where has Donald Trump gone?
The page tries to plagiarize the ergonomics of Twitter – once Donald Trump’s favorite network. Short texts punctuated with exclamation points and Trump-style capital letters. A button “like” and (irony) a button “Twitter” and another “Facebook” to share its content on the networks which have banned it. But difficult to see anything other than a simple reminiscence of the press room: there is no possible interaction.
Not enough to compete with Facebook or Twitter, then. Entrenched on the supremacist and conspiratorial twin of Twitter, Gab, Donald Trump struggles to stir larger than his 2 million subscribers, all committed to his cause. He had 88 million on Twitter and 35 million on Facebook before being banned for fueling violence on Capitol Hill.
“He continues to address his base and gives interviews to (the conservative television channel, Editor’s note) Fox News, as well as other conspiratorial conservative and alternative media on the Internet, but it still has to go through intermediaries ”, notes Alexis Pichard, researcher in American civilization at Paris-Nanterre University and author of “Trump and the Media: The Illusion of War? “ (2020, VA Press).
His blog also contains the same messages as his Gab account. Deprived of “mainstream” social networks, the former president will have to transform the essay if he wants to recover his audience of yesteryear.
No tweets but a party
In need of a digital megaphone, Donald Trump at least keeps the ear of his peers. The Republican Party was outraged at Facebook’s move, threatening to “Limit the power of tech giants over our word” if it regains the ascendancy over Congress in the midterms November 2022.
→ LARGE FORMAT. How Twitter has changed the world
It was in a statement that the former president appointed Liz Cheney, one of the few Republican elected officials to have voted in favor of his impeachment, like the person to be killed in the party. He prefers the young elected pro-Trump, Elise Stefanik. Isolated within her party, Liz Cheney could no longer be maintained in her position as number three of the Republicans in the coming days.
“Donald Trump wants to remain the center of the political arena. He is preparing for the 2024 presidential election and will ensure that he does not have a direct competitor among the Republicans for the next three years ”, explains Alexis Pichard. “It is the way Joe Biden will bring radicalized voters back to the center that will make Donald Trump successful or not in 2024”, warns the specialist.