Trump launches new 'communications' platform

Clay Curtis
May 5, 2021

Facebook's independent oversight board rules Wednesday on the platform's ban of former United States president Donald Trump in a case that could set a precedent for how social media handles harmful content from world leaders.

Politicians, free speech experts and activists around the world are watching the decision closely.

The website so far consists of a feed of short posts by Trump on a range of political matters - the most recent of which take aim at Republican colleagues who have fallen out of favor with the former president, including U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney and Senator Mitt Romney.

"This is just a one-way communication", one source familiar with Trump's new messaging center told Fox.

While Trump aides have spent months teasing his plans to launch his own social media platform, his spokesman Jason Miller said the blog was something separate.

Trump has been banned by social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube since January's deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that led to him being impeached for a second time.

Trump's new website was launched on Tuesday
Trump's new website was launched on Tuesday

The web space will reportedly provide the ex-president the opportunity to post messages, images and videos online.

Trump has even said he prefers the statements to his old tweets, often describing them as more "elegant".

Facebook set up the oversight panel to rule on thorny issues about content on its platforms, in response to widespread criticism about its inability to respond swiftly and effectively to misinformation, hate speech and nefarious influence campaigns. While his followers will apparently be able to share his posts to Facebook and Twitter, the new platform does not ¸appears tro bwe able to allow viewers to "reply" or engage with posts.

Alphabet Inc's YouTube says it does not have different rules for world leaders, though its exception for "educational" or "documentary" content does allow certain news coverage of politicians making rule-breaking statements.

"To some degree, Facebook is trying to create an accountability mechanism that I think undermines efforts to have government regulation and legislation", Hans said.

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