UPDATED: Donald Trump’s blog site, designed to give the disgraced former U.S. president an online outlet after he was banned from Twitter, Facebook and other services, has been permanently shuttered about a month after it debuted.
However, the Trump website’s “news” section includes statements from the 45th U.S. president — and it appears that posts from the blog have been moved there.
The blog, called “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” has been removed from his personal site (donaldjtrump.com) along with all posts. A senior aide to Trump, Jason Miller, told CNBC that the blog section will not be returning and that it was “just auxiliary to the broader efforts we have and are working on.” In a Twitter post, Miller said the blog’s removal was a precursor to Trump joining another social platform.
In a May 5 post on his website, Trump lashed out Facebook (as well as Twitter and Google) after Facebook’s independent Oversight Board upheld the social media giant’s suspension of Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts over his role in inciting the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
“What Facebook, Twitter, and Google have done is a total disgrace and an embarrassment to our Country,” Trump wrote. “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.” Trump also issued a vague threat that “corrupt social media companies must pay a political price” and he alleged that they somehow worked to “destroy and decimate” the American electoral process.
In its ruling last month, Facebook’s Oversight Board faulted Facebook for imposing “the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension” on Trump. The board ordered Facebook to review Trump’s suspension “to determine and justify a proportionate response that is consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform” within six months.
Facebook froze Trump’s accounts on Jan. 7 through at least President Biden’s inauguration, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg citing the potential for ongoing violence for the decision. “We believe the risks of allowing the president to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Zuckerberg said at the time. Twitter banned Trump permanently on Jan. 8, and other internet companies have taken similar actions to “deplatform” him.
As noted by the Overnight Board, on Jan. 6, Facebook removed a video posted by Trump telling the Capitol mob to go home — while also reiterating baseless election-fraud claims and telling the rioters “we love you, you’re very special.” Later that day, Facebook deleted a Trump post in which he wrote, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love in peace. Remember this day forever!” Facebook removed both posts under its policy on Dangerous Individuals and Organizations.
Two weeks later, Facebook announced that it was referring the decision about whether Trump’s accounts would be reinstated to the Oversight Board, the 20-member organization composed of lawyers, academics, policy analysts, journalists and industry experts.
Critics have long called on Facebook to ban Trump to stop the spread of misinformation, including Trump’s repeated false assertion that the 2020 election was somehow rigged against him. Conservatives have blasted moves to deplatform Trump as infringing his political speech.