Trump’s return to Facebook could spell disaster for Truth Social

  • Donald Trump has returned to Facebook and YouTube and is extending his campaign for the 2024 GOP presidential election.
  • This could be bad news for his own social media platform, Truth Social.
  • Trump may choose to use other social media sites, such as Twitter, to communicate with his supporters and raise funds for his campaign

Former President Donald Trump’s return to Facebook could spell trouble for his social media platform, Truth Social, as the Republican ramps up his campaign for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.

Trump announced his official comeback on Facebook Friday with an all-caps message that read, “I’M BACK!” but he continued to use his own social networks to communicate with his supporters.

The former president’s new Facebook post comes ahead of his first campaign rally of 2024, which will take place in Waco, Texas on March 25, as he begins his bid to win his party’s nomination for a third time.

YouTube also reinstated Trump’s channel on Friday and its suspension from Twitter was lifted in November 2022 following its purchase by billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Although Trump has so far made no indication that he will start tweeting again, his reinstatements could cause problems for Truth Social and the former president could be tempted by the reach of the most important social media sites and the potential benefits of fundraising.

Some on social media suggested he would return to Twitter and predicted disaster for Truth Social.

“It’s no surprise that Trump is back on all mainstream social media platforms given his impending felony indictment(s..) he’s desperate. He knows Truth Social is a failure,” tweeted the entrepreneur William LeGate.

Rick Wilson, founder of the conservative Lincoln Project, wrote that “Donald Trump is secretly delighted with the collapse of TruthSocial.”

“Why bother with this when the major networks are all letting it back in with no real consequence, cost or restriction,” Wilson said.

Trump currently has an exclusivity agreement with Truth Social, which means he must first share all of his social media communications on the platform and “cannot post the same message on any other social media site. social for 6 hours,” according to SEC filings.

However, reports suggest Trump is considering not re-signing the deal, which will expire in June. This would mean he would be free to post whatever he wants on other sites first.

Terminating this agreement, as well as opportunities presented by other platforms, could cause problems for Truth Social.

Facebook and fundraising

Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung told Fox News Digital in January that the return to Facebook would be “an important tool for the 2024 campaign,” and he noted that the social media platform could help. to “advertising, popular mobilization and fundraising”.

Joshua Tucker, director of NYU’s Center for Social Media and Politics, said Newsweek in February that “Trump’s ability to fundraise is going to be a very important signal about his viability in the Republican primary.

“And from that perspective, coming back to Facebook is key to recreating the magic of past campaigns where it was bringing in tons and tons of money from small donors who could play a big role in this kind of signage development,” he said. said Tucker.

Mark Shanahan, associate professor at the University of Surrey in the UK, and co-editor of The Trump Presidency: From the Campaign to the World Stagesaid Newsweek Saturday: “It would appear at the moment that Trump needs all the help he can get to transition his lackluster 2024 presidential campaign into the kind of limelight he enjoyed in 2016.”

Shanahan said Facebook and YouTube will “certainly amplify his messages and, no doubt, roll the dollars into his campaign from his cronies in the United States.”

A “cranky echo chamber”

Former President Trump used Truth Social to voice his opinions, promote his campaign and criticize his opponents.

On Saturday morning, Trump took to the site to call for protests and said he would be arrested on Tuesday as part of an investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

However, his recent use of Truth Social may not be an indication that he will continue to make it his main social network.

shanahan said Newsweek that “Truth Social has been a failure for the 45th president: a failure far beyond the levels of Trump Vodka, Trump Airline, and Trump the board game.”

“It was the platform that was meant to crush mainstream social media and cement a community of power around its favorite president. Instead, it became a rather grumpy echo chamber of the weird – and not even enough weird to make it relevant,” he said.

A return to Twitter?

Although Twitter gave Trump what the site described as a “permanent suspension” following the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, the former president has now regained access to his account after the purchase. of the site by Musk.

Nevertheless, Trump has not yet returned to Twitter the same way he returned to Facebook. When asked about a November comeback, Trump said, “I don’t see any reason for it.”

Trump was an avid Twitter user before he was banned in 2021 and Shanahan suggested Newsweek that returning to the platform could benefit the former president’s campaign.

“If Trump is to become the story others are to react to like he was in 2016, he must return to Twitter – the perfect brain-to-finger-to-millions vehicle he used to bypass editorials and engage with the public seven years ago,” Shanahan said.

“He’s nothing new to say, but Musk’s Twitter is way more ‘Wild West’ than ‘Town Square’. If Trump can come back unfiltered, he might still have a chance to suck in the oxygen advertising from its rivals,” he said.

Shanahan added that Truth Social “will never again make him the center of attention while en route to the White House. Facebook and YouTube can fan the flames of the campaign – but it will take returning to Twitter to ignite the fire.” fire”.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he leaves a polling place after casting his vote in the U.S. midterm elections at the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center in Palm Beach, Florida November 8, 2022. Trump is returned to Facebook and was reinstated on YouTube. .


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