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No comment: Trump launched his own social network

Months after being expelled from virtually all major social media platforms, 45 US President Donald Trump is now publishing a platform attached to his website called "From Donald Trump's Desk," writes Slate... It has features - for example, posts cannot be commented on.

Photo: Shutterstock

The site, which launched on Tuesday, May 4, was pre-populated with snippets of Trump's press releases through the end of March. One of the posts from the same day is a video introducing the platform as "a place where you can speak freely and safely."

A Twitter-like channel appears on a single page on Trump's official website - at this link.

Each post says "Donald J. Trump" at the top along with a timestamp, which might make more sense if more than one person was using the platform. However, there are some key differences between Twitter and the former president's virtual desk: you cannot comment or reply to any messages; the platform does not have a 280 character limit, some messages are thousands of characters long. To like a post, all you have to do is click on the heart-shaped button, but there is no engagement counter, and unliking a post is not an option.

Looking at the site's code, one of the Slate development team noticed that the site was collecting data about when users liked certain posts. (It continues to send data to the Trump team every time you click a button, even if you already liked the post.) There are also buttons next to each post that you can click to share content directly to Twitter, which blocked Trump forever, and Facebook , who is deciding this week whether to allow him to return to the platform.

On the subject: Twitter and US National Archives scandal over Trump's tweets

Posts are usually too long, causing reposts to get truncated. There are also “contribute” and “register” buttons at the top of the page, presumably to help raise funds for future political activities or even another presidential campaign.

Another important difference from Twitter is, according to the authors of Slate, the quality of the new platform. According to their observations, for some time in the afternoon of May 4, lines of debug code were visible at the bottom of the page, although they were later hidden. We also noticed a code indicating that the site is not asking for affirmative consent to track users using the Facebook PageView pixel, even if they live in Europe. The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation requires websites to force visitors to explicitly consent to such data collection.

 

Back on Twitter, users ridiculed the platform's aesthetics and functionality, calling it essentially a sloppy blog styled like a social networking site.

At the same time, some of Trump's prominent supporters, such as former White House aide Sebastian Gorka (now a Newsmax host) and disgraced political journalist Benny Johnson (also now a Newsmax host), have shared a link to the new platform.

Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and other major social networks have deleted Trump's accounts following the Capitol riot, fearing that it would provoke more violence and prevent an orderly presidential transition. Some have done it for good, while others may end up letting him come back. The question then was how the president would try to speak directly to his followers.

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York

Last summer, and then shortly after the 2020 elections, the Trump Organization briefly entered into negotiations with the right-wing platform Parler to open an account there in exchange for a stake in the company, but the negotiations fell through. Trump also sends out press releases, some of which resemble tweets; although they are sent straight to journalists' inboxes, they have not generated the same resonance on social media as his old messages.

Trump has hinted for weeks that he will launch a new social network that can compete with Facebook and Twitter. If this is the result of these efforts, it does not appear that the current platforms have much to worry about, the authors of this article believe.

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