Entertainment And News

Donald Trump Will Likely Run For President Again In 2024 — But Can He Win Without Social Media?

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Donald Trump

Like a bad rash, Donald Trump is back and hinting at a run in the 2024 Presidential Election. 

The former president has said he has made a decision about whether or not he will run, without revealing what the decision was. 

Then, over the weekend, Trump topped the 2024 Republican presidential nomination straw poll at the Dallas Conservative Political Action Conference, taking 70% of the ballots.

Yet, as Trump takes on a class-action lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter, Google, and YouTube, one question looms over Trump’s rumored presidential campaign. 

Can Trump win the 2024 election without social media? 

Trump was suspended from Facebook and permanently banned from Twitter shortly after the Capitol riots and has remained off the platforms since. 

But running a political campaign with the monumental reach of social media in this day and age seems challenging at best. 

Trump and his campaign managers can go ahead and rule out Twitter since the platform has remained headstrong in its ban. But Facebook has always oiled the Trump machine and a successful campaign might be difficult without it. 

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Facebook played a key role in Trump’s 2016 win. 

In Trump’s 2016 election campaign, Facebook generated the majority of the campaign's $250 million in online fundraising.

This doesn’t even begin to cover the role Facebook’s algorithm plays in creating an echo chamber for Trump supporters to be swarmed with content relating to the controversial businessman. 

Nor can we forget Facebook’s alleged nefarious role in Trump’s 2016 win through fake news and hoaxes — allegations that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg denies

Without social media, Trump will have to raise money elsewhere.

That said, if there’s one thing Trump has access to its money, even without Facebook’s help. 

In fact, his lawsuit against the social media giant has become a ploy to raise funds. The former president, the Republican National Committee sent out emails and texts soliciting donations within minutes of the announcement of the lawsuit.

Equally, the Trump campaign may only have to operate without the power of Facebook for so long. Facebook’s initial ban is due to expire in January 2023, leaving plenty of time for a presidential campaign. 

And if you think Trump’s personal vendetta against the platform will keep him off Facebook, think again. Trump has had no problem continuing to use the site for his own gain even during his ban. 

Save America Joint Fundraising Committee, a joint venture between Trump’s Save America leadership PAC and his Make America Great Again PAC, spent $3,506 on Facebook ads in June 2021, advertising an upcoming rally and requesting donations. 

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Trump still has power on social media. 

Trump’s social media bans have also rendered him into some kind of martyr amongst his supporters, as predicted by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Studies show Trump’s old content continues to attract likes and shares when reposted by others. Trump doesn’t even need to run his own social media when his supporters will spread his message for him.  

Alternative social media apps like Parler or Telegram discovered newfound popularity in the wake of Trump’s ban and though he has yet to make a personal appearance on these apps, they may be a viable source of social media promotion.

Trump’s former spokesman, Jason Miller, has even launched his own social media platform, GETTR, with the mission of “fighting cancel culture, promoting common sense, defending free speech, challenging social media monopolies, and creating a true marketplace of ideas.”

Miller has said he would welcome Trump to the platform. Whether or not these services will rival the kind of influence Trump had on Facebook and Twitter is unclear, but the former president certainly won’t have to resort to handing out flyers if he runs in 2024. 

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment. Keep up with her Twitter for more.