According to a report from the Guardian's David Smith, experts claim that Donald Trump's ban from Twitter -- a social media platform ideally suited to his attention-grabbing outbursts -- is turning him into yesterday's news as the public moves on without almost hourly reminders of is existence.
The former president -- who had 8 million Twitter followers before he was banned immediately after the Jan 6th Capitol riot -- has had to resort to longer statements posted by his spokesperson on her Twitter account that has little social media reach and often pass without anyone noticing.
"Cast into the social media wilderness, the former US president releases statements by email these days, clogging the inboxes of reporters whose attention has turned elsewhere. The era when a single tweet from Trump could electrify cable news, rattle financial markets and unnerve foreign capitals is long gone," Smith wrote. "His post-presidential online engagement is in freefall, the Axios website reported this week, citing data from SocialFlow, an optimization platform that measures clicks from posts referred from its network of publishers."
According to one political scientist, the loss of Trump's presidential bully pulpit, combined with the social media ban, is rapidly diminishing his influence at a time when he needs the attention to raise cash for both his personal use and to possibly make another presidential run.
As Monika McDermott of Fordham University told Smith, "His [Trump's] online presence has definitely declined due to a variety of factors. First of all, he was better on Twitter because he was punchy. He was of the moment: people followed him and got constant updates. Any other platform is very difficult for him to navigate with his style and personality."
"In addition to that, he's lost his position as president of the United States, and he doesn't have a concrete election yet that he's actually running for. The attention has been siphoned away by the current administration and what's going on in the country and the Delta variant and all kinds of other things," she added. "He's become to some extent irrelevant to the general populace, even though he's still very relevant to his still very loyal followers."
As Smith notes, when Trump's name does manage to break into the headlines it is often reports about either his legal problems or revelations coming from the flood of books about his one-term presidency.
"Trump, ensconced at his estates in Florida or New Jersey, has been largely irrelevant to substantive policy debates about the Afghanistan withdrawal and Biden's infrastructure bill and social spending plans. Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader in the Senate, appears to be paying him little heed," Smith wrote before adding, "In addition, the former president struggles to break through and make news, and when he does it is usually because of a damaging revelation from a book or official investigation about his attempt to overturn the 2020 election. Axios cited data from NewsWhip showing there were 26% fewer stories about him during August and September than in March and April. And the stories were averaging 28% less engagement on social media."
According to GOP strategist and anti-Trump Lincoln Project member Tara Setmayer, life has become better without the former president clogging up social media platforms.
"We're no longer married to our Twitter feeds and cellphones and we can actually enjoy Sunday brunch now because Donald Trump isn't tweeting something insane. However, the undercurrent of his presence is still a threat to our politics," she told the Guardian.
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