After months of promising his own social media network for banned posters, former President Donald Trump on Tuesday launched a new section of his website — essentially a standard-issue blog.
The “platform” is styled like of Twitter but hosted as a running blog of Twitter-length commentary from Trump. People can sign up for post alerts on the platform through their email and phone numbers and are allegedly able to like them, although that function doesn’t appear to work as of publication. Users are also allowed to share Trump’s posts on Facebook and Twitter. The Twitter sharing option doesn’t currently work, but Facebook’s does allow people to share Trump’s posts.
The new “platform” is effectively a blog styled like a generic version of Twitter
“Generally, sharing content from the website reference is permitted as long as the material does not otherwise the Twitter Rules,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Verge on Tuesday. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Even though the platform formally launched on Tuesday, there are posts dating back to March 24th. Trump’s latest post is a video advertising his new platform, calling it “a place to speak freely and safely, straight from the desk of Donald J. Trump.” According to Fox News, Trump will “eventually” be able to communicate with his supporters directly, although it’s not clear how that will happen. Trump’s press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment
The launch comes just a day before Facebook’s Oversight Board is set to announce whether Trump will be allowed back on Facebook and other Facebook-owned social media platforms like Instagram. Trump was banned from Facebook and his favorite posting platform Twitter in January after a right-wing mob stormed the US Capitol, leaving five people dead. Facebook’s quasi-judicial moderation panel plans to announce whether the former president can return on Wednesday morning.
The platform appears to have been built by Campaign Nucleus, a digital services company founded by Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale.
Updated on May 4th at 7:33PM ET: Included a statement from Twitter.
Updated on May 5th at 7:53AM ET: An earlier version of this article used Wordpress as an example of off-the-shelf blogging software, causing some readers to assume that Trump’s site was running on Wordpress. It is not, and we have removed the reference to avoid confusion.