2023: Trump’s Return To Facebook Could Be Major Fundraising Boost
NEW YORK – The decision by the company that owns Facebook to quickly restore Donald Trump’s account comes at a crucial time in the former president’s campaign to get back into office.
The only declared candidate in the 2024 race, whose campaign has been criticized for a slow start, could make a lot more money if he took back control of his social media accounts.
Trump is also thinking about going back to Twitter, which he used to connect with his supporters in the past in a way that was both effective and personal.
He was barred from posting on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites for his role in inciting violence in the deadly insurgency at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.
By thinking about going back to the platforms that turned him down, Trump is admitting that Truth Social, the social media company he started last year, doesn’t come close to the reach of the biggest platforms. He currently has 4.84 million Truth Social followers, far fewer than the 87.7 million who follow his Twitter account, the 34 million who follow him on Facebook, and the 23.4 million who follow Meta’s Instagram.
Trump’s Social Media Was Unlocked In November
Trump’s Twitter account was unlocked in November, shortly after Elon Musk bought the company, but Trump has refused to use it, claiming that he is happier on Truth.
However, while Twitter has long been Trump’s platform for airing his grievances — and has received far more attention — for his new campaign, Facebook is ultimately about money.
The business executive and reality TV star’s 2016 campaign was a first of its kind because it used the power of Facebook’s digital advertising tools. And his 2016 and 2020 campaigns spent millions of dollars on advertisements critical to his small-dollar fundraising efforts.
Meta, the company that owns Facebook, decided to bring him back on Wednesday. This is likely to help his current campaign raise millions of dollars, collect emails, and find voters.
“I think this is first and foremost about fundraising for Trump,” said Katie Harbath, a Bipartisan Policy Center fellow and former Facebook public policy director. “He wants to keep getting emails and addresses for fundraising, which the platform has always been very important to the campaign.”
Personal Appeals From Users
During his suspension from Facebook, Trump’s political operation continued to fundraise on the site but could not run ads directly from him or in his voice — appeals that Harbath said are far more powerful.
“Personal appeals are always the most effective,” she says. “And people haven’t seen that in a long time in their feeds.”
The reinstatement comes at a great time for Trump, who has been struggling in the first few months of his 2024 campaign to bring back the energy of his first two campaigns. On Saturday, he plans to visit two early-voting states, New Hampshire and South Carolina, for his first official campaign event.
Even though Trump and his team are thinking about using the social media brands that helped him get where he is now, big problems could come up.
After being banned from Twitter and Facebook, the former president founded Truth Social, a Twitter clone. He typically posts multiple times per day on his social media site, sharing thoughts, insults, and campaign videos, as well as reposting messages from his supporters, as he did on Twitter.
Cannot Post On Another Site For 6 Hours
According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last May, Trump agreed to make Truth Social the “first channel” for “any social media communications and posts coming from his profile” as part of his deal with Digital World Acquisition Corp. to take it public.
This includes a clause that says the former president is “generally required to make any social media post on TruthSocial and can’t make the same post on another social media site for 6 hours.” This clause goes into effect on December 22, 2021, and lasts for 18 months, until December 22, 2025.
However, Trump “may make a post from a personal account related to political messaging, political fundraising, or get-out-the-vote efforts on any social media site at any time,” according to the statement.
Some people who support Trump think that this line gives him the right to post political messages whenever he wants, even though he is still not running for office.
Former Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, CEO of Trump Media & Technology Group, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Trump’s obligations are clear from the SEC filing, but he declined to elaborate. Requests for comment were returned by something other than Digital World or its CEO, Patrick Orlando.
Trump Spouting More Hatred
“I think this is more of an ego question than a legal question,” Harbath said, adding that he expects Trump to start advertising on Facebook before resuming messaging. “The man enjoys putting on a show.”
There are questions about whether federal stock exchange regulators will let Digital World merge with Truth Social and go public. Trump, who owns the most shares of Truth Social, will not get shares in the new company, which could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Stock in Digital World has plummeted since rumors spread that Trump may resume posting on rival social media platforms. Even though the broader comparative market has barely moved, the potential Truth Social partner has dropped 30% since Twitter reinstated Trump’s account last year.
So far, Trump has insisted on sticking with Truth, claiming that he prefers the engagement on the site, where fringe content predominates.
But, according to two people familiar with the discussions who spoke anonymously to disclose private conversations, Trump has been talking about returning to Twitter in recent weeks. NBC News says that this has included talking about possible first tweets that would have the most effect.
A spokesperson for Trump’s campaign wouldn’t say anything about Trump’s plans for social media, including his possible return.
But, while Meta deliberated, Trump’s campaign lobbied for his reinstatement.
Metas Vice President Is Ready For Trumps Return
In a letter this month, lawyer Scott Gast asked the company to let Trump back. He said that keeping the ban in place “would be, in Mr. Clegg’s words, a deliberate effort by a private company to silence Mr. Trump’s political voice.”
That’s Meta’s vice president of global affairs, Nick Clegg.
“Moreover, every day that President Trump’s political voice is silenced contributes to an inappropriate interference in the American political and electoral processes,” wrote attorney Gast.
Trump may also face restrictions on the type of content he can share on the platform.
Clegg stated in a blog post announcing Meta’s decision that “the public should be able to hear what their politicians are saying — the good, the bad, and the ugly — so that they can make informed choices at the ballot box.”
At the same time, he said that the company would set up new “guardrails” and that Trump would be suspended again if he posted “more content that broke the rules.”
And if Trump or anyone else posts material that does not violate Facebook’s rules but is otherwise harmful — for example, content that attempts to delegitimize an upcoming election or is related to the QAnon conspiracy theory — Clegg said Meta would take action to limit the material’s reach.
It could also temporarily bar Trump from using its advertising tools.
SOURCE – (AP)
Elon Musk Angers William Shatner Over Twitter Blue Mark
William Shatner is unhappy with one of Elon Musk’s recent Twitter policies. He went on Twitter to express his displeasure over the blue check mark. The paid subscription adds a blue checkmark to user accounts.
Before Musk purchased Twitter, prominent politicians, businesses, journalists, and personalities received the blue check for free.
Currently, the monthly cost for the blue badge is $7.99. Users with the blue checkmark associated with their accounts before Twitter began charging for it was permitted to retain it for a grace period.
This grace period ends on April 1, when all legacy checkmarks will be removed.
“Hey @elonmusk, what’s the deal with blue checks disappearing if we don’t pay Twitter? Shatner tweeted, “I’ve spent 15 years contributing my time and witty thoughts for nothing.” Now you’re telling me to pay for something you gave me for free? What is this, the Columbia Records and Tapes Club?
Hey @elonmusk what’s this about blue checks going away unless we pay Twitter? I’ve been here for 15 years giving my ⏰ & witty thoughts all for bupkis. Now you’re telling me that I have to pay for something you gave me for free? What is this-the Colombia Records & Tape Club?🙄
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) March 26, 2023
The advantage of checkboxes is that they indicate to platform users that the information posted by an account originates from the person or organization claiming to be behind the account.
In theory, the checkmark lends credibility to a Twitter account’s tweets.
Shatner’s comment was met with responses from Twitter users.
@jsatz tweeted, “You have been such a pleasure to read on Twitter, @WilliamShatner.” “However, Musk is riding this company down like Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove, destroying what made the site worth reading and posting to.”
“I came here specifically to read William Shatner’s tweets,” wrote @Pat_Kc. Without Shatner, Twitter has no value.
Twitter is worth only 20 Billion.
Elon Musk admitted in an email about employee stock grants that Twitter is worth less than half of what he paid.
On Saturday, the managing editor of Platformer, Zo Schiffer, tweeted that Twitter had undergone a radical but necessary change because it was “about four months away from running out of money. Now, he says, employees’ financial incentives should be aligned with the company.”
She tweeted that the value of the stock grants was “$20 billion.” In late October, Musk paid $44 billion to acquire control of Twitter.
Schiffer tweeted that Musk told staff he saw a “clear but difficult path” to a valuation of $250 billion.
The Information also reported on the email in which Musk instructed employees that they could sell their stock holdings for cash “every six months based on a third-party valuation” during “liquidity events.”
This process would be comparable to the one used by SpaceX, in which Musk stated: “achieves the public company advantage of having a liquid stock but without the stock price chaos and lawsuit burdens of a public company.”
According to The Information, he also wants employees to view Twitter as an “inverse startup” of the thousands of jobs eliminated since he took over. According to CNBC, Twitter has as few as 1,300 employees, down from about 7,500.
According to The Verge, following the last round of layoffs in February, Musk sent a memo with the subject line “Performance Awards” to the remaining employees, stating that they would receive “very significant” performance-based stock awards.
In the memo, he added, “Last week, we completed a difficult organizational overhaul aimed at improving future execution, using as much feedback as possible from the entire company.” Those who remain are held in high regard by those in their vicinity.
Musk reportedly emailed Twitter employees early Wednesday morning to remind them of the company’s remote working policy.
LGBTQ+ Dating App Grindr Issues Warning To Users In Egypt
CAIRO, Egypt – A popular gay social networking app told its Egyptian users on Friday that police are targeting LGBTQ+ people by pretending to be part of the community.
When Egyptian users open the app, they will display the following warning in Arabic and English:
“We have received information that Egyptian police are actively arresting gay, bi, and trans people on digital platforms.” They use fake accounts and have even taken over the accounts of real people in the community who had been arrested and had their phones taken away. Please use extreme vigilance both online and offline, including with accounts that were credible in the past.”
Although homosexuality is not officially illegal in Egypt, members of the LGBTQ+ community are routinely prosecuted for ‘debauchery’ or ‘violating public morality.’ It detained seven people in 2017 for waving a rainbow flag at a rock festival. Arrests of homosexuals and non-conforming individuals continue to be widespread.
An Egyptian government media officer did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Grindr’s new measure.
The warning comes after rights groups and the media reported that authorities in the region are aggressively using digital platforms to target the LGBTQ+ community.
Authorities in the region are aggressively using digital platforms to target the LGBTQ+ community.
Human Rights Watch published a report in February detailing dozens of examples of security forces extorting, harassing, publically exposing, and detaining LGBTQ+ people in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Tunisia based on their behavior on Facebook and Instagram, as well as the dating app Grindr. The journal also questioned big technology corporations for failing to invest adequately in Arabic language content filtering and protection.
“Grindr is working with groups on the ground in Egypt to ensure our users have up-to-date information on how to stay safe, and we are pushing international organizations and governments to demand justice and safety for the Egyptian LGBTQ community,” Grindr spokesperson Patrick Lenihan said in response to a comment request on Friday.
Grindr, a popular gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer dating app in California, has been chastised in the United States and penalized in Norway for sharing personal data with third parties that might identify users.
SOURCE – (AP)
Dodge Unveils Last Super-Fast Gasoline Muscle Car Of 2023
DETROIT — Dodge’s final gas-powered muscle car won’t depart without thunderous rumbles and exhilarating speeds.
According to the carmaker, the 2023 Challenger SRT Demon 170 will have a 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine that produces 1,025 horsepower, making it the fastest production vehicle ever built.
Stellantis, a company created in 2021 by the union of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Peugeot of France, claims it can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in a terrifying 1.66 seconds, outpacing even Tesla and Lucid’s electric supercars.
The last of the rumbling automobiles, which for decades were a staple of American culture on Saturday night excursions across the nation, is what the performance brand from Stellantis refers to.
By the end of this year, Stellantis will no longer produce gas-powered versions of the Dodge Challenger, Charger, and Chrysler 300 large sedan due to tighter government fuel-economy standards and a quickening transition to electric vehicles in the fight against climate change.
Beginning the next year, the Canadian factory that produces all three vehicles will be retooled to produce electric versions of larger vehicles. The future of all three cars has yet to be confirmed by Stellantis, but the company did display a Charger Daytona SRT electric concept muscle car back in August.
Although he will miss the classic muscle, Tim Kuniskis, CEO of the Dodge brand and the unofficial spokesperson for America’s gas-powered rubber burners, expressed excitement about creating electric performance vehicles.
It’s the end of an era, he declared on Monday. “Electric items are really quick. One of the essential components of a muscle automobile is rapid acceleration. I, therefore, automatically possess authority. Now I must find out how to include all the other aspects of the thrilling driving experience.
The new Dodge Challenger Demon also generates 945 pound-feet of torque or rotational force.
Since the summer of last year, Dodge has released potent “Last Call” special editions of its gas-powered muscle vehicles, culminating with a display of the Challenger Demon 170 on the drag strip at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Monday night.
The new Dodge Challenger Demon also generates 945 pound-feet of torque or rotational force; this power required the firm to fortify the differential and rear drive shaft using aerospace-grade metals. The Challenger Demon is a descendant of a vehicle that went on sale in 1969.
Stellantis claims that the automobile will be the first mass-produced vehicle to complete a quarter-mile (0.40 km) in less than nine seconds, precisely in 8.91. It reaches a speed of a little over 151 mph to do. (243 kilometers per hour). How much ethanol is included in the fuel affects horsepower and speed.
Even though it barely gets 13 cities and 21 highway miles per gallon, it’s unlikely that anyone buying one will give a damn even while the world contends with climate change.
Although there are only a few cars, according to Kuniskis, the ethanol they burn is cleaner than gasoline. By the time production of the gas-powered models concludes on December 31st, Dodge will have produced 2 million muscle vehicles, he claimed. He claimed that Dodge’s supporters merited a celebration.
After all these years, “we owed it to them as much as we did to celebrate this end and give them something that produces a lot of pride in the brand that they love,” he said.
Even though the Dodge Demon 170 comes with large racing tires, it is street-legal. The business provides a set of smaller, more street-friendly wheels and tires to make it a daily vehicle.
It’s really simple to identify which cars people want to collect if you look at some of the cars.
The car’s only standard features, at an absurd price of $96,666, are the driver’s seat and a simple radio. A/C is present, though. Back and front passenger seats can be added for $1 each. Additionally available are leather, a sunroof, and a superior audio system.
Only 3,300 of them will be produced by Stellantis, and Kuniskis is still determining if they will reach that goal due to potential part shortages and a constrained production schedule.
According to Kuniskis, if prior limited-edition versions are any indication, the Demon 170 should quickly become a classic collector’s car.
It’s really simple to identify which cars people want to collect if you look at some of the cars we’ve had in the past, he added. “Often, it’s the lesser (sales) volume, extreme examples—whether they’re extreme in performance or excessive in appearance. This one does have both.
SOURCE – (AP)
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