This past Friday, The Washington Post reported a startling statistic — in the previous week, the total number of internet users who visited the personal website of former President Donald Trump (including his post-presidency blog) was lower than the number of visitors at a recipe website known as Delish. According to the Post, “Social engagement around Trump — a measure of likes, reactions, comments or shares on content about him across Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Pinterest — has nosedived 95 percent since January, to its lowest level since 2016.”
In other words — no matter continued Republican obsession with him, Trump has been quickly fading from view. Trump set up his post-presidency blog after getting banned from major social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter over his incitement of a riot at the U.S. Capitol in January, but any effort to use the blog to stay further in the spotlight is not working. The blog isn’t even particularly well-equipped for a broad reach. There is no function on the site allowing users to leave comments on any posts, although comment sections have been mainstays of the internet for decades.
Each post has a corresponding button allowing direct shares to Facebook and Twitter, but evidently, readers aren’t exactly taking advantage of the feature en masse. Across the week prior to the new Post report, posts from his faltering blog had been shared to Facebook an average of under 2,000 times per day, which is a wild drop-off from the level of reach previously held by remarks from the former president. Overall, according to the Post, “Social engagement across the Web with Trump’s blog, including reactions and shares on Facebook and Twitter, plummeted from 159,000 interactions on its first day to fewer than 30,000 the second and haven’t crossed 15,000 interactions any day since.”
As Elon University Professor Megan Squire pointedly put it to the Post:
‘[Trump’s] whistling in the wind. People just aren’t following him to his little desk platform, and we can see that in the numbers. The difference is ridiculous. He doesn’t have that same ability anymore to constantly put his content in people’s faces the way he did before.
Responding to the facts of Trump’s lowering profile across social media, Trump adviser Jason Miller claimed that “millions of Trump supporters are no longer on Twitter or Facebook having rejected these big tech oligarchs for their censoring of President Trump,” but there is no evidence that millions of people — Trump supporters or otherwise — have suddenly left Facebook and Twitter. The reality is that Trump’s effort to launch some kind of grand comeback is failing in terms of meaningfully expanding his reach as it stands.