“Pro-Trump influencers flocked to alternative social networks. Their follower counts stalled soon after.”


Pro-Trump commentators’ hopes of developing major followings on right-leaning websites after they left Facebook and Twitter have run up against a harsh reality: Their audiences on those sites have stagnated.

A Washington Post analysis of audience data for 47 prominent right-wing influencers who flocked last year to alternative social networks Gab and Gettr, the video-streaming site Rumble and the chat service Telegram found that their followings surged immediately after President Donald Trump was banned on the mainstream sites.

But those audiences have barely grown in the year since. In some cases, they even declined.

The influencers previously had seen steady growth on Twitter and other big platforms that distributed their messages to a broad audience. But after their jump to the niche sites, the analysis indicates, they largely failed to continue attracting new followers who weren’t already engaged fans….

The data helps strengthen the case for supporters of “deplatforming,” who argue that banning the accounts of people known for distributing lies can have a powerful impact on their ability to win mainstream attention or political influence.

It also calls into question whether this new and polarized online ecosystem — possibly to be joined soon by Trump’s long-promised social network, Truth Social — can build a sustainable business solely by catering to a radicalized right.

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