Earlier this week, Donald Trump launched a new communication site where he can directly communicate with his followers after months of being banned and having his social media presence stymied by tech giants Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others following the deadly riots that rocked D.C. on January 6.
The new platform, "From the Desk of Donald J. Trump," which launched on Tuesday, May 4, appears on www.DonaldJTrump.com/desk. Trump's new blog is billed as "a place to speak freely and safely," though readers don't appear able to comment on his posts.
Following the launch, a Twitter account was created (although Team Trump denies they had anything to do with it) appearing to belong to the former president’s new communication platform. @DJTDesk emerged on the social media site, immediately sharing Trump’s blog post and retweeted posts from other Republican politicians, including Caitlyn Jenner — who recently announced she was running for governor of California.
After Twitter caught wind of the new account, it swiftly suspended the newly created Twitter handle. The social media giant stood by its decision to block the account despite the identity of the user remaining unknown in a statement to The Post.
“As stated in our ban evasion policy, we’ll take enforcement action on accounts whose apparent intent is to replace or promote content affiliated with a suspended account,” a Twitter spokesperson said.
Twitter banned the then-president following the January 6 Capitol riot, citing the fear that Trump’s tweets could incite more violence.
Facebook, on the other hand, ordered an indefinite ban on the president. The social media platform then punted the decision to permanently exile the president from the site to its Oversight Board to make a final decision on the president’s fate on the platform.
On Wednesday, May 5, Trump was handed another blow when the Oversight Board upheld the decision that bans the former president from the site. “Given the seriousness of the violations and the ongoing risk of violence, Facebook was justified in suspending Mr. Trump’s accounts on January 6 and extending that suspension on January 7,” the board said in its decision.
The quasi-independent oversight board added that Trump “created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible” by echoing his false claims that the 2020 election — where he was heavily defeated by President Joe Biden — was rigged against him.
Although the board did uphold the decision to continue to ban Trump, it did criticize Facebook for having made the suspension indefinite. "In applying a vague, standardless penalty and then referring this case to the Board to resolve, Facebook seeks to avoid its responsibilities," the decision said, adding that the social media platform must reassess the ban down the road.
"Within six months of this decision, Facebook must reexamine the arbitrary penalty it imposed on January 7 and decide the appropriate penalty," the board wrote in its decision, adding that the social media giant needs to be clear and transparent when it comes to its rules regarding such actions moving forward.