More than two years after the ban after the Capitol Hill events, at the end of January Meta had announced that it has decided to end the suspension of Trump’s accounts on his social platforms, noting that “like any other Facebook or Instagram user, Mr. Trump is subject to community standards”. And that “in case Mr. Trump you post further infringing contentthe content will be removed and suspended for between one month and two years, depending on the severity of the violation.”
Facebook was central to Trump’s success in 2016, when his campaign used coding to tailor ads to people’s data, in a technique called microtargeting, which helped him raise money with small donors and send campaign messages by Democrat Hillary Clinton. An internal Facebook report found that Trump posted 5.9 million different versions of ads at the time, compared to Clinton’s 66 thousand, second Bloomberg News.
The former US president must have reflected on the limits of the reach of Truth Social, where Trump has just over 4.8 million followers, compared to 34 million on Facebook: so the tycoon, last March 17, posted three words, “I’m back”and a short video of the 2020 election campaign. Preamble announcement to the start of the election campaign with a campaign rally, in Texas, broadcast live right on Facebook.
The announcement of his return, of the four videos released since, is the post that generated the most engagement. The video got just under two million views, thanks also to over 44,000 shares of the same. Just under 250 thousand likes and reactions to the post in question, of which only 1583 are of anger and 5659 of hilarity (smiley grinning), while there are 91,822 love ones and 145,943 likes. In addition, 86,459 comments: in the vast majority of positive cases, welcome back.
Since his return, Trump has gained more than 119,000 followers and his four posts have generated more than 647,000 interactions, equal to an average of about 172,000 per day. Of these, only 0.37% are anger and 0.1% sadness. Trump has regained his “mighty megaphone” with the return to Facebook, but both he and Facebook fell out of their ban two years ago, and despite his unpredictability and recent wild swings against Big Tech, starting with Facebook, his return may not matter much. Many people still support Trump and many people still use Facebook, but the shine has faded and that of course has its bearing.