Former President Donald Trump’s newly online webpage platform where he “freely and safely” communicated directly with followers by sharing statements after being banned from big tech has shut down Wednesday.
The webpage “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump” has been scrubbed off Trump’s website just after going live a month ago. The site now only allows users to submit their email addresses and phone numbers to sign up for updates from the former president.
Trump’s senior aide Jason Miller confirmed the news to The Floridian after the “desk” webpage was permanently shut down as all of the former president’s statement posts were deleted from the website. The news was first reported by CNBC.
“It was just auxiliary to the broader efforts we have and are working on,” Miller said. “Hoping to have more information on the broader efforts soon, but I do not have a precise awareness of timing.”
The move comes as Trump is set to return to the campaign trail in an effort to help Republicans take back control of both chambers of Congress in the 2022 midterms, with the results predicating if he will officially make the announcement to mount a third presidential campaign. The former president is scheduled to appear Saturday at the North Carolina Republican Party’s convention. In addition, his team is planning to hold a handful of Trump’s signature MAGA rallies in June and July, bringing him back fully to the public eye.
When asked if the shutdown is a “precursor” to Trump joining “another social media platform,” Miller said on Twitter, “Yes, actually it is. Stay tuned!”
Trump was permanently de-platformed from Twitter following the Capitol riots on Jan 6. In a tweet, the blue-bird social media platforms stated that “after close review of recent Tweets,” Trump’s account would be suspended permanently “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” At the time the former president was banned from Twitter, Trump had more than 89 million followers and would be his go-to online platform where he would announce breaking news or unleash his wrath on those who crossed him.
Other big tech platforms began to follow Twitter’s footsteps, with Facebook indefinitely suspending Trump’s account on both Facebook and Instagram platforms just a week later. Last summer, Facebook launched an Independent Oversight Board, a form of an internet governance body that would “independently” check the company power in deciding whether the “indefinite” Facebook suspension was appropriate.
Shortly after Trump launched his webpage, Facebook announced that it would uphold its ban in indefinitely block the former president’s accounts, but emphasized that the company’s indefinite suspension was not appropriate and called on the Facebook board to review the decision and develop a “proportionate response” within six months.
According to the Washington Post, interactions of posts on Trump’s webpage dropped significantly in the weeks after it was launched. WaPo noted that over 159,000 total social media interactions occurred during the first day it was officially launched on May 4. Since then, interactions dropped to 30,000 interactions the following day and never surpassed over 15,000 interactions per day since the first-day peak.
A blow to the newest online page was due to Twitter automatically booting an account with more than 2,100 followers that primarily shared Trump’s blog posts shortly after the webpage launched. Despite a note in its bio that explicitly stated, “Not Donald J. Trump Tweeting,” Twitter permanently suspended the account. A Twitter spokesman defended its action, saying the online platform takes “enforcement action on accounts whose apparent intent is to replace or promote content affiliated with a suspended account.”
Trump’s webpage received about 4 million visits the week ending May 18 from both desktop and mobile devices, according to social media data firm BuzzSumo and Facebook-tracking tool CrowdTangle.
The newspaper also reported that an adviser who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that Trump wanted to open a new “platform,” noting that the former president didn’t like how the platform was being continuously mocked and had so few readers or interactions per day.
It’s not immediately clear what other avenues Trump would pursue to communicate with his supporters as it is still unknown if his highly anticipated own social media platform will fully launch just ahead of his signature campaign-style rallies.