How Trump’s Social Media Ban Rewarded Trump, Platform

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From the business side

Facebook,

Instagram,

twitter

And it could all be said that YouTube took action against one of the most powerful voices on the platform. Over the years, there have been criticisms of not being able to actively apply the rules to the most famous users.

Across the platform, Trump has attracted about 150 million followers, 35 million on Facebook and 88 million on Twitter, making him one of the hottest world leaders.

But for businesses, Ban his account It didn’t look like they were denting their traffic. Facebook and YouTube haven’t reported engagement for any particular unit, but Twitter’s user base continues to grow.

According to Zignal Labs, which analyzes social media content, Mr. Trump’s mention on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram has dropped by 88% since his social media ban (a few days before leaving the White House).

Mr. Trump is keen to restore his online presence, Announced plans to launch its own platform.. But even without the social media tools that helped ignite his rapid political rise, Mr. Trump’s influence remains strong and in a sense growing.

The ban was a rallying point among supporters of the former president. While Mr. Trump’s vote rating remains negative rather than positive, public opinion about former branding tycoon and reality show stars reflects many of his supporters’ false claims about election fraud. It has improved significantly since it was removed from social media.Attacked the Parliament building on January 6, 2021, Trying to overturn his election defeat. Facebook is now called Meta Platforms Inc. and closed its account on January 7th with Twitter Inc. Banned him on January 8th.

A year after the riots in the Capitol, FiveThirtyEight.com’s national poll averages that about 52% of Americans were against Trump, compared to 43% who saw him favorably. He said he had a disadvantageous view. According to the same poll average, that 9-point gap compared to the nearly 20-point spread of Mr. Trump’s favor a year ago.

Mr. Trump’s current and former aides said the change in popularity was primarily due to the former president’s diminished social media presence. His constant, often provocative tweets helped to inspire his supporters, but provided stable ammunition to his critics. During his tenure, even his most ardent supporters told pollsters that he wanted Mr. Trump to broadcast his complaints and not respond to any criticisms.

Guests posed with a cutout of the former president and the first lady at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa in October.


Photo:

Scott Olson / Getty Images

Mr. Trump’s bystander from social media left much of the political spotlight on President Biden. Approval rate has dropped significantly The past year.

“I don’t know one person in the world of Trump who regrets this happening-not alone,” said one Trump adviser.

Researchers studying social media have said that the removal of influential social media accounts that spread false stories has made content on platforms that companies consider toxic less popular, but many People have also expressed concern about the creation of these by technology companies.

Jonathan Morgan, CEO of Yonder, who tracks online narratives, said:

Both companies will be faced with questions about whether to reinstate the former president, especially if they decide to be nominated again for president in 2024. Review the January 2023 decisionHowever, social media executives argued that their calculations were unaffected by Mr. Trump’s political decisions. According to his aide, Mr. Trump was eager to announce a bid for 2024, but so far his adviser has persuaded him to wait until after the November midterm elections to make a formal decision. did.

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These companies banned Mr. Trump, but continued to sell ads not only to him, but to his opponents and allies who made him an important part of their own political advertising.

With Facebook

alphabet Of a corporation

Google has sold over $ 2 million in ads to Mr. Trump’s two political action committees over the past year, according to Ad Impact, which tracks ads. Social media companies have various restrictions on advertising and some have banned the use of Mr. Trump’s footage and recordings of his voice.

Still, according to AdImpact, more than 100 candidates, problem groups, and political committees spent $ 11.5 million on Facebook ads mentioning Mr. Trump in 2021.

The National Republican Senate has spent more than $ 3.5 million on Facebook ads aimed at raising money for the group by promoting Mr. Trump’s plans for social media ventures. Several groups have tried to take advantage of Mr. Trump’s false election claims.

“Is Trump a true president?” Mr. Trump’s political committee, Save America, asked at one point. “The 2020 election may have been the most corrupt in our history.”

Facebook has rejected some ads from Save America for violating its policy.

Initially, Mr. Trump enjoyed breaking out of Twitter and relied on an email statement edited by his press team.

“It’s really better than Twitter because it doesn’t do stupid retweets that people don’t like. Retweets are what attracts you,” Trump said in an interview in March. This election: The inside story about how Trump was lost. “And I saved a lot of time. I didn’t realize you could spend a lot of time on this. Now I actually make phone calls and do other things , I have time to read unreadable papers, and with me, if I misplaced the comma or misspelled a word, it was as if the world had collapsed. “

But recently, his adviser said Mr. Trump is keen to regain his presence on social media. He proudly compared his widespread support with the support of foreign leaders at a private meeting in the Oval Office, the aide said. For four years at the White House, he never got tired of seeing one of his Twitter posts soaring from his fingertips to the headlines of cable networks and news websites.

he Sued a high-tech company in July, Complained that he was censored by mistake. In October, Trump announced a new digital media venture aimed at regaining online followers.As part of that effort, with Truth Social, a social network developed by the Trump Media & Technology Group.

Digital World Acquisition Ltd

, Special acquired company, or SPAC. The release date of the platform is unknown.

Prior to the January 2021 ban, the two companies struggled for months to combat Mr. Trump’s unfounded allegations of the stolen election, and how to ease the content of the then president for the 2020 presidential election. I was working on it. For example, Twitter has repeatedly labeled and removed content that Mr. Trump considered instigated violence and disseminated false information about elections.

Longtime campaign aides Brad Parscale and Gary Coby were afraid that social media companies would limit Mr. Trump’s reach. They and Republican National Committee Chairman Ronna McDaniel to create a list of emails and phone numbers for supporters so that the campaign can contact them directly in fundraising activities, turnout programs, and statements. Oversaw millions of dollars in efforts.

According to people familiar with this issue, the list currently contains about 50 million emails. Over the past year, Mr. Trump has relied on this list, raising over $ 56 million in online donations in the first half of 2021 and offering about the same amount of funding programs in the second half, according to people familiar with the effort. .. The Fundraising Commission’s year-end financial report has no deadline until the end of the month.

Write in Michael C. Vendor Mike.Bender@wsj.com And Georgia Wells georgia.wells + 1@wsj.com

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How Trump’s Social Media Ban Rewarded Trump, Platform

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