18:42 GMT15 May 2021
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    Mainstream social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter permanently banned former US President Donald Trump after the deadly 6 January Capitol riot, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying "the risks of allowing the president to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great".

    Former US President Donald Trump has launched a new communications platform named "From the Desk of Donald J. Trump", with a video posted on the platform on Tuesday, describing it as "a place to speak freely and safely".

    "In a time of silence / and lies / a beacon of freedom arises", reads the text in Tuesday's video.

    The web space will reportedly provide the ex-president the opportunity to post messages, images, and videos online. While his followers will apparently be able to share his posts to Facebook and Twitter, the new platform does not appear to be able to allow viewers to "reply" or engage with posts.

    "This is just a one-way communication", Fox News quoted a source familiar with the platform as saying. "This system allows Trump to communicate with his followers".

    One can find older statements by Trump on the platform, starting from 24 March.

    "From the Desk of Donald J. Trump" was launched just a day before Facebook's Oversight Board is set to announce its decision on whether to indefinitely suspend the former US president from Facebook and Instagram. 

    Trump was banned on such mainstream social media platforms as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitch after the deadly 6 January Capitol riots, which he was accused of inciting. The ex-president vehemently denied the accusations, insisting that he never wanted violence on US streets.

    U.S. President Donald Trump is seen tapping the screen on a mobile phone during a roundtable discussion on the reopening of small businesses in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 18, 2020
    © REUTERS / Leah Millis
    U.S. President Donald Trump is seen tapping the screen on a mobile phone during a roundtable discussion on the reopening of small businesses in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 18, 2020

    After his exile from social media, Trump and his supporters accused big tech companies of "suppressing free speech".

    Trump was also impeached by the House of Representatives for "inciting insurrection" during the Capitol riot. The US Senate then voted 57–43 to convict Trump of inciting insurrection, but fell 10 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to actually convict the ex-president.

    While the decision from Facebook is yet to come, Twitter officials indicated that the former one-term Republican president has been permanently suspended from tweeting.

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    Tags:
    US Capitol, Social media, Donald Trump, Facebook, Twitter
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