Former President Donald Trump on Monday appeared unable to outline a strategy for getting his message out to the public days after he shut down a blog his team had hyped as a “beacon of freedom” and Facebook upheld its ban on him for at least two years.
Asked by Fox Business’ Stuart Varney whether he has a “plan” to spread his message given the bans, Trump said he has been able to do so with “press releases” and claimed he’s been getting the word out “very well.”
The former president then pivoted to criticizing social media executives for the bans as he offered no clear strategy for disseminating his message.
Trump called Big Tech leaders “bad” and “dangerous” people who “have to be stopped.”
“We don’t have free speech anymore,” Trump claimed, before Varney again pressed the former president on what he would “do” if these companies would not let him back on their platforms.
Trump said his team was “working” on a strategy “right now” even as he acknowledged things were not “the same.”
“We’ll see what happens,” Trump added.
On Friday, Facebook—which also owns Instagram—announced it will keep Trump’s ban in place for at least two years, after which it will assess whether the former president is a “risk to public safety.” The company and a host of other social media platforms first banned Trump in January following the Capitol riot. Facebook’s decision to keep Trump’s ban in place came two days after the former president shut down his blog which was launched in May as a way for him “speak freely and safely” to his followers.
Trump shut down the blog because he was frustrated with its lack of readership, according to multiple news reports. Before the ban, Trump’s online post with the median engagement elicited 272,000 likes and shares, while after it has fallen to 36,000 likes and shares, according to a New York Times analysis.
Trump said he believed Big Tech had banned him because his voice is “very strong” and “powerful.” On Sunday, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg explained Trump was banned for fomenting violence, not spreading falsehoods. Any person, even the president of the United States, cannot use the platform to “aid, abet, foment or praise acts of violence,” Clegg said. The Facebook executive acknowledged the company needs “to come up with clearer due process, clearer standards, clearer penalties.”
During the Fox Business interview, Trump repeated a falsehood he repeatedly uttered throughout the campaign, claiming U.S. coronavirus cases and deaths have been overcounted. “I think you had reported numbers far greater than the actual numbers,” Trump said.
Trump Shuts Down Much-Hyped Blog (Forbes)