OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author’s opinion
January 7th, 2022
It is one of the announcements from former President Donald Trump that his supporters have been waiting for and he has finally made it.
No, not that one.
But it is game-changing for the world of social media. The 45th President of the United States has announced that his media company, the Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), is going to launch his new social media app on President’s Day, The Guardian reported.
Photos show that the app is going to be similar o Twitter in that it is set to have trending topics and the ability to follow other people.
The app will launch 13 months after the former president was permanently banned from Twitter and banned indefinitely from Facebook.
TMTG and Apple did not respond to requests for comment, but a source familiar with the matter confirmed that 21 February is the planned launch date of the app.
The launch is expected to be the first of three stages in TMTG’s development. The second would be a subscription video-on-demand service called TMTG+ with entertainment, news and podcasts, according to the company website. A November investor presentation indicated that TMTG also wants to launch a podcast network.
TMTG is currently valued at $4.3bn based on the stock price of Digital World Acquisition Corp. TMTG agreed in October to merge with the blank-check firm at a valuation of $875m.
Trump supporters and retail investors have snapped up Digital World’s stock, betting that Trump’s popularity with his Republican political base will translate into a commercial runaway success.
In June, Facebook made a decision as regards Trump being allowed to come back to the platform.
Facebook’s vice president of global affairs Nick Clegg issued a blog post announcing a minimum two-year ban for Trump, Politico reported.
“Given the gravity of the circumstances that led to Mr. Trump’s suspension, we believe his actions constituted a severe violation of our rules which merit the highest penalty available under the new enforcement protocols,” he said. “We are suspending his accounts for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on January 7 this year.”
“We are suspending his accounts for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on January 7 this year,” it said.
“We are today announcing new enforcement protocols to be applied in exceptional cases such as this, and we are confirming the time-bound penalty consistent with those protocols which we are applying to Mr. Trump’s accounts,” it said.
But even when Trump comes back the company has announced that he will have to live by special rules made for him., which is significant because it means the ban is not permanent.
“When the suspension is eventually lifted, there will be a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Mr. Trump commits further violations in future, up to and including permanent removal of his pages and accounts,” it said.
“In establishing the two-year sanction for severe violations, we considered the need for it to be long enough to allow a safe period of time after the acts of incitement, to be significant enough to be a deterrent to Mr. Trump and others from committing such severe violations in future, and to be proportionate to the gravity of the violation itself,” it said.
It is of note that the suspension will continue through the 2022 midterm elections where Trump is expected to play a key role for Republicans.
The originally reported plan was for the former president to launch his own social media platform to coincide with the Fourth of July celebrations, The Daily Mail reported.