Donald Trump has hinted he might start a social network of his own after Facebook and Twitter kicked him out, and it now looks like those plans are starting to solidify. According to Deadline, Trump aide Jason Miller told Fox News that the former president would launch his own social media service in “two to three months.” Miller wasn’t specific about what the platform would entail, but insisted it would “redefine the game” and attract tens of millions of people.
If the service goes forward as claimed, it might appeal to conservatives who believe mainstream social networks are biased against right-wing ideologies. Alternatives like Parler and MeWe claim to have enjoyed a surge of new users as some conservative supporters look for platforms with little to no moderation.
Whether or not Trump can get the infrastructure he needs is another story. Deadline noted that Shopify and Stripe dropped business with Trump following the US Capitol riot, and major cloud providers like Amazon or Microsoft might be reluctant to provide support given accusations that Trump spurred Capitol violence. Trump may have to rely on smaller or foreign tech partners, and there’s no guarantee those can scale to the volumes the ex-president thinks he’ll get.
Trump may have undermined his own efforts. The former leader pushed for limitations on the Communications Decency Act’s Section 230 (which shields internet companies from liability for user content) in retaliation for Twitter’s fact-checking label, and a variant on that call for reform has persisted since the Democrats took control of the presidency and both sides of Congress. If users promoted damaging falsehoods or violence, a limited Section 230 might let victims sue the site or otherwise put its future in doubt.