Donald Trump has launched a new platform that will enable him to communicate directly with fans following his ban from Twitter and other social media sites.
The former president’s new site, donaldjtrump.com/desk, launched with a promotional video declaring itself a “beacon of freedom” and “a place to speak freely and safely” after Mr Trump was purged by Twitter.
The site contains recent statements from Mr Trump, 74, who was banned from his preferred social media platform for inciting violence after the January 6 US Capitol riot.
It also features a sign-up list for people who wish to receive alerts when he posts a new message.
However, the new platform does not appear to have a feature to allow users to reply or engage with any of his posts.
“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.”
The website says it is run by Campaign Nucleus, a digital firm founded by Brad Parscale, Mr Trump’s former campaign manager.
The former president often rails against “Big Tech”, and threatened to sue Facebook and Google for being “totally biased” and attempting to rig the 2020 election – both unfounded claims.
It came on the eve of a decision by Facebook’s independent oversight board on whether to reinstate the former president.
The ruling set for release at 1300 GMT Wednesday is likely to be a defining moment for the leading social network’s so-called “supreme court” envisioned by company founder Mark Zuckerberg to make thorny decisions on what to allow or remove from Facebook.
The oversight board, which makes decisions that are binding on Facebook and cannot be appealed, will rule on whether to leave in place the Trump ban, or allow him back on the platform. It may also make related recommendations to the California-based social giant.
“This is a huge decision, it’s getting a lot of attention and deservedly so,” said Daniel Kreiss, University of North Carolina professor and researcher specialising in politics and social media.
“This is significant for the global precedent it will set. If they uphold the ruling I think you will see more robust enforcement around the world.”
The oversight panel, comprised of jurists, policy experts, journalists and others from around the world, will be making perhaps its most significant decision at a time when social platforms are struggling to remain open to political discourse while filtering out incitements to violence, misinformation and abusive comments.
Mr Trump was suspended from Facebook after he posted a video during the deadly rampage at the Capitol by his supporters in which he stated: “We love you, you’re very special.”
The US leader was banned permanently by Facebook the following day, and he was taken off other platforms including Twitter and YouTube.
Regardless of Facebook’s decision on Wednesday a Twitter spokesperson said that Mr Trump is permanently suspended from tweeting.