Statements released by former President Donald Trump in many cases have been able to generate as many likes and shares on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as before he was banned from the platforms.
The New York Times conducted an analysis of statements Trump made on his own social media accounts from Sept. 1, 2020, to Jan. 8, 2021, when he was barred.
The paper then looked at the dozens of written statements he has sent via email and posted on his personal website and campaign fund-raising site from Jan. 9 to May 5, which were then shared by others on social media.
“Before the ban, the social media post with the median engagement generated 272,000 likes and shares. After the ban, that dropped to 36,000 likes and shares. Yet 11 of his 89 statements after the ban attracted as many likes or shares as the median post before the ban, if not more,” The Times reported.
Now, with Trump banned from social media, his most ardent supporters continue to spread his message — doing the work that he has been unable to do himself. “But he’s not directly driving the agenda in the way he once was,” one disinformation expert said. https://t.co/uN0DPFPsGr pic.twitter.com/8acRtKoGKp
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 7, 2021
The paper offered the example of an Oct. 8 tweet by Trump accusing then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate then-Sen. Kamala Harris of lying constantly to voters. He pointed to their changed positions on fracking and tax increases.
People liked the posts a total of 501,000 times on Facebook and Twitter.
By comparison, on March 21 Trump published a statement on his website lamenting, “We proudly handed the Biden Administration the most secure border in history,” but they frittered it away, the 45th president argued.
“All they had to do was keep this smooth-running system on autopilot. Instead, in the span of a just few weeks, the Biden Administration has turned a national triumph into a national disaster. They are in way over their heads and taking on water fast.”
The statement was liked and shared 661,000 times.
“One thing that became immediately clear: Mr. Trump’s most ardent supporters continue to spread his message — doing the work that he had been unable to do himself,” The Times determined.
We proudly handed the Biden Administration the most secure border in history. All they had to do was keep this smooth-running system on autopilot. Instead, in the span of a just few weeks, the Biden Administration has turned a national triumph into a national disaster.
— RSBN 🇺🇸 (@RSBNetwork) March 22, 2021
The news outlet gave a second example of Trump deriding Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a February statement.
“Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again. He will never do what needs to be done, or what is right for our Country,” Trump said.
The statement got shared over 345,000 times by supporters as well as leftist media personalities such CNN’s Jim Acosta and PBS’s Yamiche Alcindor, who highlighted the intra-party fight angle.
President Trump going after Senator Mitch McConnell: “Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again.”
Trump says his “only regret” is endorsing McConnell in his re-election bid in Kentucky. pic.twitter.com/z96skLJSVW
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) February 16, 2021
However, one topic the social media companies have not allowed Trump’s statements to gain nearly as much traction is regarding election fraud.
The Times found concerning the subject that, “Before the ban, Mr. Trump’s posts garnered 22.1 million likes and shares; after the ban, his posts earned 1.3 million likes and shares across Twitter and Facebook.”
Last week, Trump responded to Facebook’s decision to keep its ban of him in place until at least 2023 saying it is an insult to his tens of millions of supporters.
NEW: Trump response to FB suspension:a
“Facebook’s ruling is an insult to the record-setting 75M people, plus many others, who voted for us in the 2020 Rigged Presidential Election. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away w/ this censoring & silencing, and ultimately, we will win.” pic.twitter.com/PnD69HEa4e
— Jennifer Franco (@jennfranconews) June 4, 2021
“Facebook’s ruling is an insult to the record-setting 75M people, plus many others, who voted for us in the 2020 Rigged Presidential Election,” he said.
“They shouldn’t be allowed to get away [with] this censoring [and] silencing, and ultimately, we will win.”