Don’t call it a comeback: Trump’s social media return will be short lived


Having spent the early months of 2021 exiled from social media, Donald Trump may be set to make a return, circumventing his Twitter ban by creating a social media platform of his own. Jason Miller, the Trump aide who announced the news, has said the platform could be ready in “two or three months”. One of the biggest challenges for Trump is whether all these providers, who are essentially the gatekeepers of the web, will agree to support his platform. Even if they do, the Parler precedent could see them withdraw their hosting at any time if users’ violent rhetoric goes unpoliced. Meanwhile, Trump’s platform will need to protect user privacy if it’s to avoid the attention of data regulators. If the platform is to be made available for EU citizens, for example, it’ll fall under EU data regulations, which can impose huge fines – 4% of annual turnover or €20 million (£17.2 million), whichever is greater – if data on the app is misused. A number of Trump’s supporters were displaced from mainstream social media platforms after being linked with violent rhetoric, including the sharing of white supremacist, racist and fascist tropes.

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