OPINION: A “Trumper” Social Media Platform Is a Bad Idea. Trump Should Sign Up For Gab Instead
Trump advisor Jason Miller revealed last month that President Trump is considering starting his own social media internet property in the summer as part of a return to online discourse. Miller also said the President is considering using an existing free speech social media platform such as Gab or Parler, with both the options a possibility.
The hypothetical new social media platform would be called something akin to ‘Trumper.’
However, this would be a bad idea. President Trump should use Gab, a free speech social media platform. A Gab-administered account created for Trump’s public statements already has more than 2 million followers.
Big Tech didn’t build their internet and social media monopolies in a day. Twitter, YouTube and Facebook’s monopoly in their respective social media markets was built through decades of buying out competition, market consolidation, and anti-competitive business practices.
Gab didn’t pop up overnight as a response to the most crippling round of online censorship. The platform actually launched in 2016, with CEO Andrew Torba previously working for Silicon Valley tech companies and tiring of the increasing trend of censorship and political bias already evident in the industry. Gab has internally owned and administered web hosting servers, preventing Big Tech oligarchs from disabling the site.
With competitor Parler appearing to be mired in failure and nonviable following its web hosting deplatforming at the hands of Amazon, it’s easy to imagine yet another alt-tech social media platform ending as a flash in the pan, diverting free speech supporters from an entity such as Gab which has a considerable track record of weathering establishment liberal censorship and deplatforming attempts. Some Conservative Inc. influencers have sought to marginalize Gab for actually embracing pro-free speech moderation tactics, showing themselves to no different than the Left in supporting censorship tactics against those they deem uncouth.
A ‘Trumper’ social media platform would likely follow the path of Parler, which has largely lost out to Gab. The former was closely affiliated with leading conservative influencers, and has been accused of using censorship tactics on its own part to siphon off the site’s reach for its elite users.
Merely creating a Big Tech competitors that’s inherently tied to President Trump through his name would be counterproductive, as well. The ideal should be to present conservatives and free speech supporters with a platform to express themselves online, not merely to create an entity that starts and ends with Trump.
30 million people use Gab every month. While it’s likely that Trump’s personal use of the site would create server and hosting complications for the platform, Gab’s administrators have proven capable of scaling the website’s capacities after a January influx of new users overwhelmed the existing server infrastructure.
President Trump’s home on social media lies on Gab, which is already equipped to handle his presence on the platform. Creating enduring internet platforms to replace Big Tech is going to take time, consistency, and effort, and starting over every other year with a new platform that’s going to “do it right this time” is doomed to end in counterproductive failure.