After social media sites like Facebook and Twitter moved to deplatform Donald Trump in the wake of a deadly riot on Capitol Hill last month, the former president is now promising to make some big moves of his own to get back online.
According to a new report from the Washington Examiner, Trump has been hinting to those close to him that he has some big money behind him as he seeks to move back into the social media sphere.
The former president told Newsmax TV last week that his team has been in talks “with a number of people” about purchasing an existing platform to provide an outlet for free speech, but he also hasn’t ruled out starting a whole new social media site of his own.
“We’re negotiating with a number of people,” Trump said Wednesday, according to the Examiner. “There is also the option of building your own site because we have more people than anybody, so you can literally build your own site.”
Silencing the president
Trump also reportedly complained Wednesday that he and his supporters “were being really harassed on Twitter.”
“They were putting up all sorts of flags, I guess they call them, they were flagging almost anything you said,” Trump said. Accordingly, he’s looking for an alternative that doesn’t shut out dissension.
It’s likely welcome news to those who have seen their voices smothered by Big Tech, a sentiment that was echoed by the chairman of the American Conservative Union, Matt Schlapp. Schlapp told the Examiner that he believes there’s a large market for those looking to express right-of-center views without fear of being censored — and Trump seems to be teeing up to fill that void.
“There’s a real despondent feeling among those people,” Schlapp declared, as the Examiner reported. “And many were buoyed to hear the former president. We never had a president get silenced before. It’s never happened.”
A deal for Parler?
On Feb. 8, the Washington Examiner cited a report from BuzzFeed News that indicated there were negotiations over the summer of 2020 about a possible merger between the Trump Organization and alternative social media outfit Parler. But then-Parler CEO John Matze later indicated that the deal “never got beyond unsigned, non-binding term sheets,” in the words of Axios.
Matza told Axios that he had reservations about getting involved with the president, fearing “he might have bullied people inside the company to do what he wanted.”
“But I was worried that if we didn’t sign the deal, he might have been vengeful and told his followers to leave Parler,” the now-former Parler CEO added.
With Trump now reportedly eyeing a social media venture of his own, only time will tell what the future holds for Parler, Twitter, and other platforms that sought to keep him at arm’s length.