Trump's reelection campaign is hunting for new social media havens

With mainstream social networks beginning to stand up to the President, his team is shopping around for alternatives.

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With Election Day just five months away, Donald Trump's presidential campaign is scrambling to find a social media alternative after perceived snubs from Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, campaign officials are eyeing platforms like Parler as potential e-podiums for the president. But this would require a serious reconfiguration of Trump's social media strategy, which is heavily dependent on Facebook and Twitter. Leaving Facebook and Twitter could cause Trump significant damage as, according to eMarketer data, the former boasts 175.4 million users in the United States while the latter offers access to a potential audience of 53.5 million users in the country.

It would be similarly devastating for the president's communications team to abandon YouTube's 212.6 million American users for another platform. So, what will the Republican — notorious for his obsession with posting frequently incendiary rhetoric to his 30 million Facebook and 82 million Twitter followers — do? Campaign officials are brainstorming ideas.

Enter Parler — It's unlikely, but Trump's presidential campaign may consider moving communications to Parler, which is used by some of the president's top communications officials like campaign manager Brad Parscale. According to The Wall Street Journal, the platform emphasizes free speech as its top priority. Its co-founder and chief executive John Matze told The Wall Street Journal that Parler has gone from 100,000 users to one million users in a year. It sounds impressive, but compared to Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat's massive user bases, one million users is a minuscule audience. For someone who seems to thrive on attention and publicity, Parler doesn't sound like the optimal place for Trump.

Does this ring a bell? — If you're wondering why Parler seems familiar, it's because it sounds similar to Gab, which is yet another e-favorite among right-wingers and free speech absolutists. With repeated rebukes from content moderators on Facebook, Twitter, and other mediums for unmistakably violent and disturbing messaging, swaths of far-right internet users — fueled by a false victim complex that tech has a bias against conservatives — have turned to Gab.

Much ado about nothing — Despite reports that Trump's presidential campaign is considering a social media overhaul, this is most likely empty signaling from the Republican's world. It all comes down to cash. The president cannot afford to abandon Facebook or Twitter as his campaign desperately relies on both to reach donors, supporters, people on the fence, and most importantly, raise money. Leaving Facebook and Twitter for Parler (or even Gab) would be absolute self-sabotage. Trumps going to have to learn to work with the world's biggest social media platforms, even if they begin to favor applying the rod rather than kissing the ring.