Media outlets are on fire, contemplating the possible revenues that Trump’s “return” to the big platforms of Twitter and Meta—in the form of Facebook and Instagram—might generate for them once again. In the past, hanging on his every Tweet was a great ad-revenue driver for them.
But today’s reality may be a bit different. Sure, MAGA fanboys are chafing in anticipation of new and snarky ways of “owning the libs” with his posts and quips. But there are major differences between then and now that seem to be escaping attention.
First, Trump’s credibility is at a new low. There was an assumption that his endorsement of a potential candidate assured that person’s election to office. As Kari Lake and many others found, this is far from true and in some cases quite the opposite. Sure, right-wing propaganda outlets will repeat and amplify his every utterance and preference, but this is more recently coming under the heading of, “Who cares?”
Second, the guy who “is winning so much everyone would get tired of his winning,” is losing left, right and center in the legal arena. The latest is his ignominious dismissal of his own suit against the New York AG after getting sanctioned almost $1 million by the same judge for a similar bogus suit against Hillary Clinton and others. The Fulton County DA in Georgia seems ready to file indictments. He apparently confessed in deposition to the rape he is being sued for in New York. His company has been found guilty of 17 felonies and the DOJ is looming larger every day. There’s more but you get the point.
Another point that seems to be escaping wide attention is that he now owns a competing social media platform. That fact may be more important than folks realize. There is a pesky thing when one is a director of a company, known as “fiduciary duty.”
According to Professor Bernard Black of Stanford Law School,
The most important fiduciary duty is the duty of loyalty. The concept is simple: the decision makers within the company should act in the interests of the company, and not in their own interests. The easiest way to comply with this duty is not to engage in transactions that involve a conflict of interest. We often call these “self-dealing” transactions.
Because of this issue, Trump may have painted himself into a corner.
In the past Trump used his wild and calculatedly inflammatory behavior on Twitter and Facebook to build his own brand. This was aided and abetted by the regular news media who short sightedly focused on his value as click bait—which he certainly was and to a degree still is. Their failure to challenge his “alternative facts”—as his surrogate Kellyanne Conway called his blatant lies—only added to the feeding frenzy.
Both Twitter and Meta dwarf his tiny Truth Social platform, which being a Trump company, isn’t really doing all that well. And going back out onto these now-competing platforms may set him up for more legal liability in the form of lawsuits from other investors, shareholders or other stakeholders for violation of his fiduciary duty.
Trump set up Truth Social as an ego-trip exercise to “prove” that he could outdo those who had “wronged” him. But now it looks more like he just shot himself in the foot. Again.
So, what if Trump does decide to get back on the social media horse, ignoring his little toy pony and the liability it might represent? What do we do? What we should have done all along: ignore him and block him from our feeds.
We all do best when we refuse to receive communications from people who revel in their ability to upset others. Anti-social personalities feed on the upset and craziness they trigger in other people. The core intent of Donald Trump and people like him—a tiny minority of society—is to distract you from your life and your plans. When you ignore and disconnect from the crazies and go on with living, and thus succeed, you win and they lose.
Luckily, it is super easy to block messages from psychotics like Trump and his surrogates, fanboys and wannabes.
Marty Kassowitz is co-founder of Factkeepers. As founder of Interest Factory and View360, he brings more than 30 years experience in effective online communications, social media management, and platform development to the site. He is a writer, designer, editor and long time observer of the ill-logic demonstrated by too many members of the species known as Mankind. After a long history of somewhat private commentary on a subject he totally hates: politics, Marty was encouraged to build this site and put up his own analyses as well as curate relevant content from other sources.