Former President Donald Trump was banned from many social media platforms. However, that doesn’t mean they succeeded in silencing him.
Trump’s ban on Twitter and Facebook did little to stop him from getting his message out, the Washington Examiner reported. Fox News and others have reported on his statements while allies shared the messages on their own social media accounts.
Prior to the incursion at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the former president dominated social media. He would routinely garner 272,000 likes and shares on Facebook and Twitter, and some credit his social media savvy with getting him elected in the first place.
Things changed after Jan. 6 when a group of Trump’s supporters entered the Capitol building. Social media was quick to conclude he had a role in it using their platforms to talk about the problems with the 2020 presidential election.
So, sites like Facebook and Twitter banned Trump and tried to silence any discussion of the election that didn’t favor the prevailing narrative. They thought that muzzling the president would tamp down speculation about the validity of the election results, but it wasn’t as effective as they’d hoped on other issues.
“As the Trump case shows, deplatforming doesn’t ‘solve’ disinformation, but it does disrupt harmful networks and blunt the influence of harmful individuals,” Emerson Brooking, resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, told the news outlet. Posts about election fraud dropped 17% in popularity after the ban, but ongoing election audits demonstrate that the issue is still open for examination.
The statements most widely disturbed for Trump since being kicked off social media are the ones that center around cultural issues and those that take aim at the failed policies of President Joe Biden. He’s also been widely shared and talked about for posts related to late talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh.
Although Trump has yet to be vindicated in accusations about the election, he has exposed those companies for the partisan mouthpieces that they are. Now that a sitting president has been kicked off of these platforms, it’s difficult to see them as anything but.