Donald Trump hasn’t been allowed to spew hate on Twitter or Facebook since January, but how popular has he been during this time on social media? In a New York Times podcast published Thursday, GOP pollster Frank Luntz remarked that Trump is “not going away,” but he then observed that Trump’s bluster “just doesn’t move people the way that it used to, and with every passing month, it will become less and less relevant.”
It turns out Trump’s fading popularity on social media is substantial. Recode requested data from Zignal Labs and Facebook-owned CrowdTangle about Trump’s social media mentions to gain better insight into how prevalent Trump’s name has been since he was banned. According to the data announced Thursday, the drop in conversation about Trump is “drastic.”
Talk of Trump declined 34% on Twitter and 23% on Facebook the week after he was banned following the attack he inspired on the Capitol on January 6. Trump’s social media popularity then continued to plummet and is now down about 90% on both platforms. Trump gets about 3 million mentions per week—a far cry from the 50 million mentions he enjoyed in the week of his depraved attack on our democracy.
Although it’s not possible to know how much of the decline is attributable to the bans, they are a major factor because people have not been able to react to the blowhard’s tweets or posts. Facebook’s decision on Wednesday to extend its ban on Trump for at least another six months should help keep his name from polluting our feeds for a while.
As Recode put it, “Trump used to be everywhere on social media. Now he’s nowhere.” Luntz also voiced what many of us are feeling: “I no longer wake up in the morning trembling in fear wondering what is the latest crisis that has been precipitated by something he said or did the night before.” With Trump’s tiny talons no longer gripping our government or our social media networks, the doors to American progress remain wide open.