Months after pretty much all major social media platforms have been kicked out, former President Donald Trump is now posting an unattached raw Twitter copy of his website, titled “From Donald J. Trump’s Desk”. The page, released on Tuesday, was pre-loaded with details of Trump’s press releases up to early March. The most recent Tuesday post is a video that introduces the platform as “a place for free and safe speech”.
The Twitter-like feed will appear on a single official page on Trump’s official website. Each post is labeled “Donald J. Trump” at the top and has a timestamp that can make more sense if more than one person is using the platform. There are some key differences between Twitter and the former president’s virtual “desktop”. You cannot comment on or reply to any of the posts. The platform does not have a 280 character limit; some of the entries span thousands of characters. It seems that “liking” an entry is nothing more than turning the heart button red, as there is no engagement counter and dislike of the entry is not possible. Looking at the code on the site, a colleague from the Slate development team noticed that the site collects data when users like certain posts. (It keeps sending data to the Trump team every time you click the button, even if you already liked the post.) In addition to each post, there are buttons you can click to share content directly on Twitter that has permanently banned Trump. , and Facebook, which will decide this week whether to let it back on the platform. Messages are usually too long for Twitter’s character limit, resulting in re-postings being embarrassingly interrupted. There are also “consent” and “subscribe” buttons at the top of the page, presumably to help fund future political activities or even another presidential campaign.
The content of the posts is for the most part somewhat more verbal than what Trump wrote on Twitter, yet he didn’t kick up his habits of attacking political enemies and spreading conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. In another post, back in Monday, Trump calls the Wyoming MP Liz Cheney a “big shooter”.
Another significant difference from Twitter is how shoddy Trump’s new platform is. For a while on Tuesday afternoon, lines of debug code appeared at the bottom of the page, although they were later hidden. Another colleague of mine noticed the code indicating that the site is not asking for consent to track users with Facebook Pageview pixels, even if they live in Europe. The European Union’s general data protection regulation requires websites to encourage visitors to make an explicit choice about this type of data collection.
Returning to Twitter, users are relentlessly mocking the aesthetics and functionality of the platform, essentially calling it a slap-simple blog dressed as a social site.
At the same time, Trump has had some high-profile supporters, such as the White House Sebastian Gorka (now Newsmax presenter) and a shameful political journalist Benny Johnson (also a Newsmax host) shared.
Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and other major social sites have removed Trump’s accounts in the wake of the Capitol riot, fearing it will provoke further violence and prevent an orderly transfer of presidential power. Some did this permanently, while others were eventually allowed to release it. At the time, the question was how the social media-obsessed former president would try to talk directly to his followers. Last summer, and shortly after the 2020 election, the Trump Organization briefly began negotiations with Parler’s right-wing platform to set up an account there in exchange for the company’s stake, but negotiations fell silent. Trump also sent out press releases, some of which were tweetlike; although sent directly to journalists ’mailboxes, they have not made the same prominence on social media as their old missions. Trump has been suggesting for weeks that he would launch a new social media network that could compete with people on Facebook and Twitter. If this is the result of this effort, it doesn’t seem like the platforms in office should worry much.
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