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Right now, things look bleak for former President Donald Trump. He has been banned from Twitter for life, all the other big social media companies have de-platformed him indefinitely, and even posting video content “in the voice of Trump” on Facebook or Instagram is banned. In other words, Trump is persona non grata on social media right now, and he’s been effectively muzzled. He’s invisible right now on social media and has no way to connect with his fans. In fact, he’s been forced to rely on press releases to even get any word out to his fans and supporters.
Trumper and the return of Trump
But you know The Donald – he’s been through some tough, dark days in his business career, and he’s always battled back. And now he could be about to play the ultimate Trump card. Or, rather, the Trumper card. You see, it looks like the Trump team has filed plans to create an offshore headquarters for a new social media company called Trumper in Dublin, Ireland. And not just any old headquarters, but a huge, majestic building with 170,000 square feet of social media goodness. According to various rumors swirling around Trump right now, he’s actively looking for PR experts and social media consultants to build out a new, powerful new social media platform. Things could change, but it looks like we’ll know more details about the platform in just a few months.
Trump and Section 230
Things could get really interesting if the launch of the new Trumper social media platform re-ignites a debate around Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. According to Section 230, social media platforms like Facebook are given a full pass when it comes to censoring voices or deleting content. They can claim that they are a “platform” and not a “publisher,” and are simply exercising their duty of care and responsibility in getting rid of certain accounts or deleting certain content.
However, as the Trump team has argued, Facebook and other social media companies are acting much more like “publishers” than “platforms,” and as such, should have their Section 230 protections stripped away. That would be potentially catastrophic for the likes of Facebook, since losing this protection would open them up to all kinds of mega-lawsuits. And guess who’s going to be behind a lot of those lawsuits? Yes, you guessed it, Donald Trump.
Already, you can see how the Trump team is starting to build the case against Facebook & Co. On her Instagram page, Lara Trump showed a message from Instagram informing her that “content posted in the voice of President Trump is not currently allowed” on the platform. That means even video interview clips of Trump are not allowed. Does this sound like a publisher or a platform? Once Trumper launches, all of the pro-Trump voices will have a place to be heard and get people talking about these issues.
Trump vs. Everyone
No doubt about it, Trump loves a good legal battle, and this could be the battle of all battles. Could Trumper lead to the end of Facebook as we know it? That might be overstating things too much, but one thing is sure: ever since the days of “The Art of the Deal,” Trump has promised that he would hit back hard against anyone who ever attacks him, and it could be the case that he’s biding his time, waiting for the right time to hit back against Silicon Valley. Once that social media headquarters is ready to go in Ireland, Trump may decide it’s the right time to play the social media Trump card.