Whether you love him or hate him, President Donald Trump will easily go down as one of the most popular presidents in modern history — and the state of his social media accounts is just proof positive of that.
According to the Daily Wire, the president was suspended and banned from a variety of social media platforms in the wake of a violent riot at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, but it looks like Trump will get the last laugh: Even after Facebook suspended his ability to post on the platform, Trump managed to gain an astonishing 148,000 “likes” on his page, no doubt to the dismay of Democrats everywhere.
On the heels of Trump losing access to nearly all of his social media accounts, U.S. analytics company Social Blade reported that the president gained a staggering 142,170 new followers on his Facebook page between Jan. 7 and Jan. 13. That number then continued to climb, according to Newsweek, reaching nearly 150,000 by the time the group’s report was published.
According to the Daily Wire, it was on Jan. 7 that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg first echoed the actions of other social media chiefs and suspended the president’s access to his tens of millions of followers — more than 30 million on Facebook alone.
Zuckerberg issued a statement explaining why he and his company decided to restrict the president’s access, citing the Capitol riot and, of course, parroting the mainstream media’s narrative that the president’s rhetoric incited the deadly events of that day.
“The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden,” Zuckerberg wrote, according to the Daily Wire.
“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Zuckerberg added, explaining that Trump would lose access to his accounts on Facebook and Instagram for a period of at least two weeks.
Many critics of Facebook, Twitter, and every other social media platform that chose to cancel the president’s voice — including YouTube — argue that such moves are a clear violation of Trump’s First Amendment right to free speech, even though the companies are privately owned and operated.
According to Business Insider, however, there are plenty of experts who agree with the Big Tech firms’ decisions to silence the president, including Daphne Keller, an attorney and expert in internet law.
“The First Amendment is a constraint on the power of government. It doesn’t apply to Twitter,” Keller said. “Twitter is not a state actor.”
Of course, it might be a different story had Trump and Republican members of Congress successfully repealed the protections offered to companies like Facebook and Twitter under a provision known as Section 230. Without those protections in place, social media companies would be open to a litany of litigation over matters like this.
In any case, with the president still gaining likes and followers even as his accounts are suspended, it’s clear that millions of Americans are anxiously awaiting the president’s return to social media. But only time will tell if and when that actually happens.