The Dangers Donald Trump’s New Media Platform
Christina Charie ’25
If one thought Donald Trump’s influence on the media had vanished, he or she would be mistaken. The former President recently announced his new Trump Media and Technology Group along with his new “Truth Social” social media platform. Trump argues he should have access to platforms such as Twitter if groups like the Taliban are still granted permission to utilize these platforms. The country, along with politicians, must decide what constitutes freedom of speech. Social media companies are considered private organizations in the eyes of the government. Therefore, even if legally Trump is protected under the First Amendment, outside corporations have the right to restrict his access. Trump would also have the right to grant himself unlimited access to Truth Social if one follows this logic. However, the government must decide if Trump has crossed one too many lines in his Twitter rants. Politicians need to take a stand for the victims of Trump’s cyberbullying or side with the man that controls the minds of millions. Many get caught in the cycle of party politics, but one does not have to identify as a Democrat to disagree with Trump’s antics.
Everyone, including the former President, has the right to an opinion, but the spreading of misinformation by Trump has even persuaded people to commit violence. Nothing the former President says is obscure; millions of people hear his rhetoric. Trump’s comments inspired an entire group of individuals to storm the US Capitol and convinced others that the election results were falsified.
After insensitively nicknaming the coronavirus, a rise in Asian hate crimes occurred across the nation. The persistence of coronavirus impacts Americans daily. One must wonder about Trump’s consistent denial of the dangers presented by the virus as well. Unfortunately, Trump does not spread harmless misinformation. He tells his followers to drink bleach or to use a tanning bed to cure COVID-19. Millions of Americans are still reluctant to receive the vaccine. Trump takes advantage of his platform to discuss issues he does not understand. Before, Twitter or Instagram had the power to censor Trump’s scandalous messages. Now, Trump does not have to answer to anyone when he posts racist, sexist, or harmful content. The former President will most likely not be suspended from his own social media platform.
Even though this conflict is a freedom of speech issue, the situation demonstrates the inherent problem with wealth distribution in America. The former President evades consequences because of his economic status, by buying his way out of problems. Normal Americans, however, do not have the means to overcome their struggles in the same way. One cannot shout fire in a crowded movie theater as a prank without facing legal penalties. If America is a place of equality, the former President should face legal action for his words. If Trump created fear and violence in America, there has to be consequences no matter his financial or social status. There is no doubt about Trump’s shrewd persuasion methods. When combined with massive monetary power and an unrestricted platform, he can still control millions of Americans.
The most important step America can now take is to make a final decision on the Trump Presidency. Lower taxes can be appealing, but the cost could be too high. An outsider can be effective in a political position, but that person does not have to be Donald Trump or any celebrity for that matter. With the controversy still in the air, the best course of action could be leaving Trump in the past.