Trump and Social Media: The Never-Ending Saga


Courtesy of Olivier Douliery/AFP

Donald Trump was banned from Twitter following the attack on The Capital.

Steven Makino, Staff Writer

It is no secret that social media has dominated much of our lives in the past few years, whether it’s using these platforms as a means of communication, staying informed on the latest news or simply waiting on the next popular meme. The COVID-19 pandemic has only served to elevate the use of platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Tik Tok and many more apps during an unprecedented time that relies heavily on the virtual format. However, while new additions to social media are not necessarily uncommon or unusual given the current times, there is one possible platform that will likely take the world by storm if it becomes a reality.

               Former President Donald Trump has been under the spotlight like no other president before him, even overshadowing some Hollywood celebrities. While he had been a notable figure in the entertainment world long before his presidency, part of the reason he had received a massive amount of attention was due to social media, notably Twitter. Trump was not shy of voicing his opinion about a wide array of topics through retweets and, admittedly sometimes, funny tweets. However, following the horrific events of the Capitol Riot on Jan. 6, Trump faced backlash from all over the political and social spectrum, with Twitter being one of the first to announce that the former President would be permanently banned from its platform. Following this controversial move, Trump had floated the possibility of starting his own platform on the basis of holding true to the first amendment after Twitter had taken away a direct form of communication to his supporters in the blink of an eye.

              If managed properly, I believe that this platform would prove to be one that can surpass some major existing ones, including and, ironically, even Twitter itself. First off, Trump — whether you like him or not — still has quite a strong group of supporters that would happily join his new platform. His persona of “the outsider” candidate is still compelling to many, including myself, as it makes him a more relatable candidate as opposed to those in years prior. 

              There is, however, another key reason that I believe this platform will skyrocket if made within this year. Trump’s ban from nearly all social media platforms unknowingly set a dangerous precedent moving forward that goes beyond the former President’s lively Twitter finger. 

If social media corporations can censor and even remove someone like the former President of the United States from having a platform to voice his opinions, it leaves open the possibility that anyone reading this right now can be censored. A major example of this occurred days after the Jan. 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol when a popular conservative platform known as Parler was removed by Apple, Google and Amazon based on posts that incited violence, although this issue can be attributed to most social media platforms. Due to this, those on Parler who have been essentially silenced and those merely looking for a safe place to voice their views on topics without the threat of censorship or being canceled will gravitate to Trump’s potential project. 

              Part of the reason I voted for Trump in the 2020 election was the fact that — while not always using the best rhetoric — he challenged these Big Tech corporations as being biased towards one side of the political aisle. While I do believe that Trump indeed has his notable flaws, his opinion on the “fake news” of today is something that I, as well as a decent amount of people, believe to an extent. This new platform will serve as the antithesis to the “Fake News” platforms that Trump had basically been fighting for the duration of his presidency, and I truly believe that if he goes through with it, in time, his platform will not only be a Republican platform, but instead one for all Americans who cherish their first amendment rights. Trump currently has been uncharacteristically silent in recent weeks, offering very few public statements. 

This may prove to be an effective strategy as many still are eager to hear what Trump has to say in general, and being relatively reserved for the time being will only serve for more eyes to be focused on the former President when he does have something to say publicly. Having just this past Saturday been acquitted by the Senate for the Impeachment charge of Incitement of Insurrection, this could foreshadow his social media endeavors to become a reality in the near future as he himself stated that his movement has “only just begun.”