Former President Donald Trump’s ballyhooed new debut on the internet is turning out to be a flop, according to new data.
Trump launched a blog called From the Desk of Donald J. Trump in early May after he was banned from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms following his continuing baseless claims of election fraud that stirred up rioters in the attack on the US Capitol in January.
But internet interactions with his site have largely tanked, The Washington Post reported Friday, a sign of what the newspaper called Trump’s slide “toward online irrelevance.” Online chatter about him has hit a five-year low without the bully pulpit of the White House – and access to traditional social media.
Trump’s blog garnered 159,000 total social media interactions its first day, the Post reported. The following day, interactions dropped to 30,000, and they haven’t passed 15,000 a day since, according to the Post’s review of data from online analytics firms.
Trump’s entire website, including his blog, online store and fundraising page, is attracting fewer visitors than the recipe site Delish, the Post pointed out, rubbing it in.
Trump’s blog received about 4 million visits the entire week ending May 18 from both desktop and mobile devices. During the same period, the blog was shared on Facebook an average of fewer than 2,000 times per day, noted the Post. That’s a huge change from the tens of millions of comments, shares and reactions his Facebook page received each week last year, according to social media data firm BuzzSumo and Facebook-tracking tool CrowdTangle, the Post reported.
Trump’s blog tends to be far more long-winded than his tight tweets, constrained by Twitter character counts. There’s also no way to respond with support or criticism – other than to click on a heart, or share to Twitter or Facebook. The one-way conversation is likely a turnoff for social media connoisseurs.
In early May, Facebook’s Oversight Board announced it would uphold the company’s Facebook and Instagram ban on Trump, though it asked the website to review its decision within six months. Around the same time, Twitter suspended the @DJTDesk account created by Trump’s team in conjunction with his blog and webpage, referring to the new account as one “whose apparent intent is to replace or promote content affiliated with a suspended account.”
“He’s whistling in the wind,” Megan Squire, an Elon University computer science professor who studies right-wing online organising, told the Post. “People just aren’t following him to his little desk platform, and we can see that in the numbers. He doesn’t have that same ability anymore to constantly put his content in people’s faces the way he did before.”