Nearly a week after Joe Biden was declared the winner in the 2020 Presidential Election, President Donald Trump has refused to concede and apart from an official appearance at the Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day he has made no public appearances. However, the President has been quite vocal on social media, where he has made a series of unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.
However, Trump also took aim at his apparently former “favorite” TV network Fox News. On Thursday from his @realDonaldTrump account he tweeted, “.@FoxNews daytime ratings have completely collapsed. Weekend daytime even WORSE. Very sad to watch this happen, but they forgot what made them successful, what got them there. They forgot the Golden Goose. The biggest difference between the 2016 Election, and 2020, was @FoxNews!”
Many of his supporters agreed. This included Second Amendment advocate JT Lewis (@thejtlewis) who responded, “Trump should start a news network!”
Many likely former viewers of Fox News have expressed frustration that Fox News called the state of Arizona on election night, far earlier than some other new organizations, which waited for the counting of ballots to continue. The day after the election, The Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) took to Twitter to highlight that “Trump supporters in Arizona chant ‘Fox News sucks’ because they called the state for Biden yesterday”
Must Flee News
While Fox News was the most-watched news network on election night, according to data from Nielsen Media Research, its ratings were far behind CNN and MSNBC during the coverage of President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory speech on November 7.
Now in the days since those viewers have made their outrage known on Twitter. Many suggested they’d ditch Fox News for OAN (One America News) or Newsmax.
@DeborahJurgens3 tweeted, “I’m done with Fox News!! They are sheep in wolves clothing. They are very liberal! Will only watch OAN from now on!! They say they are conservative but are a bunch of liars!!!”
The sentiments were shared by @Michael_Stout, who added, “I’ve been a loyal FOX viewer for many years, until now. Tucker, Hannity and Laura should leave while they can. FOX is pandering to left now and it’s ovvious. [sic]”
It isn’t just Fox News that some conservatives will move away from. While Trump’s supporters have been vocal on Twitter, they’ve been looking at alternative platforms.
Among those who made the job is conservative radio talk’s Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow), “Hurry and follow me at Parler. I may not stay at Facebook or Twitter if they continue censoring me. And one day I’ll have left their platforms. Parler is a wonderful alternative and is growing, and we need you there ASAP. It believes in truly open speech”
The popularity of Parler has increased since the election, and on Nov. 7 its “community guidelines” disclosed that the platform would not decide what content would be “removed or filtered, or whose account will be removed, on the basis of the opinion expressed with in [sic] the content.”
Given that more than 70 million people vote for Donald Trump it is easy to see how Parler became the down free app on Apple’s App Store and Google Play this week, according to data from market research firm SensorTower. In just a week Parler’s membership jumped from about 4.5 million to more than 8 million.
Parler is not alone in attracting such a right-leaning audience. Gab, which launched in August 2016 has also established a far-right user base, but some critics have suggested it has become a platform embraced by neo-Nazis, white supremacists and alt-right militia groups such as the Proud Boys. That could create a “guilt-by-association” for those conservatives that opt to use Gab even if they don’t subscribe to such beliefs.
Ready to Rumble
Another social media alternative to pop up is Rumble, which is a video-sharing website that is similar to YouTube. It has seen a surge in user growth after Biden was elected last week.
This sudden growth wasn’t lost on Rumble CEO Chris Pavlovski (@chrispavlovski) who tweeted, “Every media and news organization needs to take notice! I can confirm for the 1st time ever, Parler is sending Rumble more referral traffic than Facebook/Twitter combined. Dependency on them is now a thing of the past
Next up, Rumble will dethrone YouTube”
However, this fragmentation might only make the political divide wider. J.D. Durkin(@jivedurkey), White House/Capitol Hill correspondent at Cheddar, addressed this in a tweet, “FOX IS TOO LIBERAL WE’RE GOING TO OAN
TWITTER IS TOO BIASED WE’RE GOING TO PARLER
YOUTUBE IS ANTI-TRUMP WE’RE GOING GO RUMBLE
when people see news they don’t like, they split off to start their own to confirm their bias. this splintering is dangerous — and it’s only beginning”
Durkin added, “i think it’s great there are more platforms in the media space than ever before — good people are earning paychecks doing what they love. what’s dangerous are the echo chambers created as a result and the toxicity against anything telling you what you don’t want to hear”