In The Long Run, Trump’s New ‘Communications Platform’ Will Only Damage The Fight For Online Free Speech

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - OCTOBER 22: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers remarks while campaigning at Regent University October 22, 2016 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The U.S. holds its presidential election in 17 days.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump launched his much-awaited communications platform, allowing him to share messages with his followers free from censorship — for the time being.

“Former President Trump on Tuesday launched a communications platform, which will eventually give him the ability to communicate directly with his followers, after months of being banned from sites like Twitter and Facebook,” wrote Fox News in an exclusive report.

The platform, “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” appears on www.DonaldJTrump.com/desk, and will allow Trump to post comments, images, and videos.

It’s currently unclear whether this platform is part of other plans to create a social media platform.

While fans are no doubt delighted, it’s important to bring people down to earth and remind them that this is nothing other than a blog.

Not only that, it’s a basic blog, since “the new platform does not have a feature to allow users to ‘reply’ or engage with Trump’s posts,” according to Fox.

“This is just a one-way communication,” one source familiar with the space told Fox News. “This system allows Trump to communicate with his followers.” 

Setting the rudimentary nature of Trump’s new “platform” aside, however, it’s also important to note that Trump’s “build your own” response to social media censorship is actually counterproductive when it comes to our broader fight against social media censorship.

Yes, in the short-term, Trump having the ability to communicate with his followers is undeniably positive, and is indeed a way of escaping the Left’s “iron curtain” of speech.

However, in the long-term it accepts the Left’s premise that conservative voices do not belong in the online public square. By accepting this premise, and shifting to conservative alternatives rather than fighting for our right to participate, we risk effectively endorsing an internet-based form of ideological segregation.

And in this form of ideological segregation, once the systems are in place, it’ll be very hard to reintegrate again.

As I explained in January, “This battle — not just over censorship but also the ‘right’ of conservatives to exist in the online society we now inhabit — is far from over.”

“Instead of accepting Big Tech’s comparatively low-level infringements on their ‘private platforms’ and building our own alternative ‘conservative’ platforms — thereby subtly accepting their premise — we must instead dig our heels in and fight for a voice in the room where things are happening. Separating ourselves voluntarily from the mainstream not only makes it easier for Big Tech to silence us more efficiently, but also makes it harder for us to achieve what should be our movement’s central goal — to promote American conservatism.”

Today, it’s great that we can hear from Donald Trump again. However, let’s also think about tomorrow, and decide between embracing the Left’s position on speech, or pushing back.

I vote that we push back.

Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  In The Long Run, Trump’s New ‘Communications Platform’ Will Only Damage The Fight For Online Free Speech