Donald Trump Launches Twitter Clone for Himself and Himself Alone, VICE US

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After months of blessed silence, Donald Trump is tweeting again. Kind of. The former President has launched a website on his personal domain that seeks to replicate the fun and engagement of his Twitter posts. It’s at donaldjtrump.com/desk and it’s as weird as it sounds.

Someone posted the most recent post at 12:24pm on May 4, 2021. It’s a video announcing the bold new website. “In a time of silence and lies a beacon of freedom arises,” it said. “Straight from the desk of Donald J. Trump.” In the next post, Trump is whining about Liz Cheney. In the one after that he’s mocking Mitt Romney. 

Removed from the context of the great Twitter ecosystem, Trump’s tweets—and that’s what these are, they’re tweets—feel highly bizarre, even for Trump tweets. For four years, this man dominated the thoughts of every American. He was the most powerful person on the planet. Now he’s direct-blogging to a personal website that has buttons so you can share his thoughts on Twitter or Facebook. If you click the heart, it lights up but doesn’t do anything. Interested parties can sign up to have these tweets launched directly into their inbox.

Trump’s little corner of the web is a strange footnote to his story. Shunned by the wider social media ecosystem, he’s set up his own space. There are no followers, no replies, no likes, no retweets, and no engagement. It’s just unfiltered Trump shouting into a blank void.

It’s still unclear if this is a new free-speech platform similar to Parler or Gab where other people can join or if it’s just Trump’s personal RSS feed. The URL and branding suggest that this is basically Twitter but on another platform and for Trump and Trump alone. Twitter permanently banned Trump after the January 6 Capitol Riots. Facebook also banned Trump but has an oversight committee analyzing the decision and is expected to make an announcement Wednesday about whether the ban is permanent.

VICE US