Donald Trump slams Mark Zuckerberg
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Last week the former President announced he would launch TRUTH Social to rival the likes of Twitter and Facebook. Mr Trump, who was banned from Facebook and Twitter after the Capitol riot in January, said the social media platform would be rolled out next year. In a statement he said: “I’m excited to begin sharing my thoughts on TRUTH Social and to fight against big tech.”
The platform is pitched as an open communication service that encourages “honest debate”, however the terms of service agreement will also prohibit users from making fun of the site.
To access the platform users must agree to not “disparage, tarnish or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the site.”
Mr Trump used to use his Twitter account to address policy issues and speak directly to his base, and the app is considered to have massively contributed to his rise in popularity during the 2016 presidential election campaign.
Before Mr Trump announced TRUTH Social, an expert on American police insisted that the former president had been “hurt” by his Twitter ban and social media “really mattered to him”.
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Bill Grover, who is a Montana State University professor and author of ‘The Unsustainable Presidency: Clinton, Bush, Obama and Beyond’ said: “His Twitter account especially has been crucial to him because he gets his message out through his tweets all the time.
“So that really does hurt him.”
The former President joined Twitter in May 2009, and over nearly 12 years he tweeted around 57,000 times.
After he lost the 2020 election, Mr Trump persistently undermined the election results in the weeks leading up to Joe Biden’s inauguration, claiming it was he who had in fact won the election.
The former President was eventually banned from Twitter and Facebook after his tweets were deemed to play a role in inciting the January 6 attack of the US Capitol, where a section of his supporters attempted to overturn the election result.
Mr Trump tweeted 8,000 times alone during the 2016 election campaign and over 25,000 times during his four years in office, with the White House at the time insisting that the tweets should be considered official statements.
In May 2021 Mr Trump launched the website ‘From the Desk of Donald J. Trump’, where he would post short tweet-like announcements.
It was shut down less than a month later however after it reportedly failed to attract enough traffic.
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However, Professor Grover added that Mr Trump would be an effective challenger if he were to run in 2024 irrespective of his social media ban.
He said: “Will it translate into a detriment for him in 2024 is a different question. I don’t know, because in ‘24 when he’s on the campaign trail, really campaigning at full force he will be making a lot of speeches all the time.
“Twitter has really mattered to him and if that account is still locked that may be offset by the fact he would be making so many speeches and he won’t be an incumbent president so he’ll have a lot more time on his hands.
“I think that the Twitter ban will affect him less in ‘24 because he will be out of a job and willing to run 24/7.
“He’ll just give rally after rally and speech after speech ‒ he’ll have all the time on his hands.
“If Biden does run again he’s still got duties to perform.”
Earlier this month Mr Trump hinted at a bid to reclaim the White House in the next presidential election at a rally in Iowa.
In the rally the former President falsely maintained that Democrats had “used COVID-19 in order to cheat and rig” the 2020 race, which saw Mr Biden beat off Mr Trump in the race for the presidency.
In Iowa Mr Trump was also supported by Senator Chuck Grassley, a senior and influential Republican who had previously come out against Trump after the January 6 attack.
This month, The Morning Consult’s study, in partnership with Politico, found that 70 percent of Republican voters believe Mr Trump should run in 2024.
Of the 1,999 registered voters who participated in the poll, 47 percent also said they would vote for Mr Trump if the presidential primary happened today, which was a far higher percentage than any of his likely challengers.
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