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Fred Dunkley

Fred Dunkley

Writer, Safehaven.com

Fred Dunkley is a tech analyst, writer, and seasoned investor. Fred has years of experience covering global markets and geopolitics. 

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Censorship Is Now Private, And That’s Scary

Censorship

According to his own testimony, Donald Trump has lost billions in the last four years in the form of money he would have made if he had continued running his business instead of getting into politics.

“It's probably costing me from $3 to $5 billion for the privilege of being — and I couldn't care less—I don’t care. You know if you’re wealthy, it doesn't matter. I just want to do a great job,” Trump said

Without income tax returns, there was little evidence to digest this one way or another, but regardless, the outgoing president may have to work extra hard to make up for additional losses not that he has become not only a target for censorship by social media, but has also been rendered toxic by businesses. 

In the wake of his support for a mob that stormed the US Capitol earlier this week, his social media accounts were locked. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube all took steps to restrict Trump’s ability to use their platforms, some for good.

Even Canada-based Shopify has shuttered the Trump Organization’s TrumpStore.com, as well as the e-commerce portion of the president’s election website.

“Based on recent events, we have determined that the actions by President Donald J. Trump violate our Acceptable Use Policy, which prohibits promotion or support of organizations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence to further a cause. As a result, we have terminated stores affiliated with President Trump.” 

PayPal also shut down an account raising funds for Trump supporters who traveled to Washington, DC. 

As for his supporters, some of those who participated in the Washington riot are getting fired.

Initially calling them “patriots” and “peaceful protesters,” in the last couple of days President Trump-and his family members have attempted to distance themselves from the storming the Capitol. 

Describing the riots as "a heinous attack" on the country, Trump said he expected those involved to be prosecuted. His daughter and advisor, Ivanka, initially tweeted that the rioters were “American patriots.” 

She deleted that post and later tweeted, “Peaceful protest is patriotic. Violence is unacceptable and must be condemned in the strongest terms.” 

And sure enough, Ivanka Trump’s business was the first to suffer from an attempt to create distance from the Trump brand--even before the Capitol Hill debacle. Back in early 2017, Nordstrom Rack dropped her fashion brand from its stores.

Even though Nordstrom said her products were not selling and the decision was purely business-related, the company was attacked by Donald Trump who said his daughter was being treated unfairly because of her name.

So now, with Trump having lost his expected second term, and his potential 2024 candidacy unknown, everyone is wondering about his plans after Joe Biden inauguration. 

 The fastest way for the Trump Organization to raise money is to re-launch its international deal machine, licensing the Trump name to real estate projects such as hotels and residential towers. That may work in Riyadh, but it won’t work everywhere, particularly in China, where the Trump Organization was eyeing major expansion prior to his presidential bid 

 Trump may also seek to return to a once-lucrative career in television, or as many other former presidents, perhaps he’ll write another book. Considering that he still enjoys the support of some half of the country, it’s likely to do well enough. 

But there is a dark cloud looming, and it goes beyond censorship and businesses who are presently afraid to link up with his brand. Prosecutors in New York are increasing their investigations into his business. The Manhattan district attorney’s office is investigating Trump and his company for an array of potential financial crimes and is seeking his tax returns. 

In the meantime, though, Trump’s antics have unleashed a fascinating example of the new censorship. It’s a censorship that is not perpetrated by the government--a development that suggests that our social media behemoths have grown so powerful as to become the censors themselves. The only question is: Once we get past the coups and hate speech, is this private censorship monster something that can be put back in its cage? And who is censoring the censors?

By Fred Dunkley for Safehaven.com

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