Liars Figure, But Figures Don’t Lie: Little Interest In Trump’s New Blog
It looks like the musings emanating “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump” aren’t going too far. The twice-impeached, one-term former president launched “From the Desk” last week. It’s basically a blog replacement for his banned accounts on mainstream social media platforms.
In its first week, an analysis of social media data shows things aren’t going so well. BuzzSumo, a social media analytics company compiled engagement data for Trump’s blog and found that he has a significantly smaller audience than he had on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. It also suggests that while he maintains his grip on the Republican Party, his online footprint – and possibly political future – depends on him being able to return to the social media giants.
Trump’s new blog has attracted a little over 212,000 engagements, which are defined as backlinks and social interactions — including likes, shares and comments — received across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit. Before he was kicked off for repeatedly lying about the 2020 presidential election, a single Trump tweet was typically liked and retweeted hundreds of thousands of times.
As with his previous social media missives, the former president’s blog posts come in the form of statements that are also sent to supporters via email. In the multiple daily notes, Trump has attacked his political enemies and endorsed faithful supporters, continued to push false claims and conspiracy theories, and opined on news of the day. Last Sunday, for example, he wrote, “So now even our Kentucky Derby winner, Medina Spirit, is a junky,” after the horse tested positive for a banned substance.
“From the Desk” is limited — users can’t comment or engage with the actual posts beyond sharing them to other platforms, an action few people do, according to the data. As with everything Trumpian, there’s a grift. Prominently displayed in the upper right corner of the blog’s home page are clickable buttons urging site visitors to shop and contribute. Oddly, the image of Trump on the page shows him writing with a pen in a thick book, certainly not how one creates an electronic blog. It is, however, similar to the photo of him signing blank papers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last October while being treated for COVID-19 there.
Trump’s bans cost him the ability to communicate with millions of people: 88 million followers on Twitter, 32 million on Facebook, and 24 million on Instagram. Trump had just around 3 million YouTube subscribers, but his videos regularly racked up millions of views.
Last Thursday morning, just two days after “From the Desk” debuted, a Twitter account with the handle “@DJTDesk” appeared on Twitter. The account’s bio section stated that the handle would be featuring “Posts copied from Save America on behalf of the 45th POTUS; Originally composed via DonaldJTrump/Desk.”
Within hours, the account was suspended. In a statement, a Twitter spokesperson said, “As stated in our ban evasion policy, we’ll take enforcement action on accounts whose apparent intent is to replace or promote content affiliated with a suspended account.”