Oh where, oh where has former president Donald Trump gone? One thing we know for sure, he's not on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter. The once king of social media has become persona non grata for several reasons. Reason one is the last presidential election result. Reason two is a failed coup. Never a good look for one's image.
But it's reason three that has really put the hammer down on Trump... at least for now.
It's difficult not to notice the lack of Trumpism's on cable news outlets, and even Google searches have gone way down. Still, the one standby Trump has always been so adapt at weaponizing was his often bizarre and angry rants on social media outlets Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
That was until four months ago when Trump's often untrue finger pointing rhetoric was silenced by Big Tech. Mercifully, since January 20, the slow and steady healing process of a country divided has begun under President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. However, it's important to note that both Left- and Right-leaning representatives are not keen on Big Tech banning free speech, which includes Trump's often hair-curling rants.
The decision to silence Trump on social media was not an easy one or one that was made without much thought. For the majority of Trump's presidency the former reality TV star was allowed to post any late-night, grammar-challenged thought that came to mind. However, everything changed when Trump lost the election and the Big Lie began. Trump was eventually banned, and many liberal world leaders criticized the act as a violation of free speech.
Any mention of Trump went down by 34 percent on Twitter and 23 percent on Facebook the week after he was banned from both social media platforms following the insurrection riot on January 6. The decline in Trump mentions has since slid into near Trump obscurity with a newly recorded fall of 90 percent on both platforms.
And while he may no longer be the name on everybody's lips, Trump has not given up the idea that he may indeed run for president in 2024. Bad news for Trump is that he won't have social media to reach out to his fan base this time around. On Wednesday, May 5, Facebook's independent oversight board ruled to uphold the company's January decision to suspend Trump from Facebook and Instagram.
"It could be a make-or-break moment for Trump's political future," said Republican political technologist Eric Wilson, according to NPR. "Even with all the resources Donald Trump has, Facebook is so much bigger than that, that you can't get around it."
Political experts noted that Facebook is crucial when it comes to campaigning, and the ban could definitely hurt Trump in the long run. “This is a huge decision, makes it infinitely harder for him to raise money,” a person close to the Trump operation said, per Politico. “Facebook was the main way he raised money. He’s now going to have to spend far more in the future to find other ways to raise money … It was the main way he found donors.”
But before anti-Trumpers get too excited, the suspension is still considered temporary. The newly formed board said that the indefinite time frame of the suspension "was not appropriate." The board asked that Facebook complete the review within six months and make suggestions for how to create policies that balance the safety of the public and at the same time not take away anyone's First Amendment rights.
How does Trump feel about his continued ban? It's not easy to know anymore many thanks to the ban, but here you go:
"What Facebook, Twitter, and Google have done is a total disgrace and an embarrassment to our Country," Trump said in a statement. "Free Speech has been taken away from the President of the United States because the Radical Left Lunatics are afraid of the truth, but the truth will come out anyway, bigger and stronger than ever before.
"The People of our Country will not stand for it! These corrupt social media companies must pay a political price, and must never again be allowed to destroy and decimate our Electoral Process."
Come on, admit it. We all miss him a little.