On Friday, former President Donald Trump made a statement on his newly launched social media platform, Truth Social, that echoed his controversial posts leading up to his banishment from Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Trump’s comment came as a response to news about a hush money probe and the investigation led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. In the statement, Trump warned of “potential death & destruction” if he were to be charged with a crime, sparking concerns among many about the potential consequences of his rhetoric.
Despite being banned from major social media platforms, Trump has found alternative ways to reach his followers, including through email and other smaller social media sites. In late January, it was announced that Trump would be allowed to return to Facebook and Instagram, although the exact timing of his return remains unclear. Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, wrote in a blog post that the public should have access to the views of their elected officials, regardless of their content.
As the 2024 presidential election approaches, there is uncertainty about which social network will assume a leadership role in shaping policy matters. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is currently serving as Twitter’s CEO on a temporary basis, has expressed a desire to appoint a successor by the end of the year. However, with Trump’s history of controversial and inflammatory posts, there are concerns about the potential impact of his return to mainstream social media platforms.
According to digital strategist and researcher Maria González, it is only a matter of time before Trump’s rhetoric creates problems for major social networks. She predicts that as Trump feels more cornered and his freedom and power are threatened, he will lash out with even less restraint than before. The consequences of such behavior are unknown but could potentially lead to a significant impact on social media platforms and the broader political landscape.