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Is Donald Trump returning to social media?

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, shares insights on US politics:

A Trump media platform? Is this for real?

This week, President Trump announced his potential return to social media through the creation of his own digital media platform that's going to merge with an existing publicly-traded company in a deal known as a SPAC. These deals are increasingly popular for getting access to capital, and it seems like that's where President Trump is headed.

The publicly-traded company's stock was up on the news, but it's really hard to see this coming together. The Trump media company claims it wants to go up against not only Facebook and Twitter, but companies like Amazon and cloud computing and even Disney providing a safe space for conservatives to share their points of view. The fact of the matter is, conservatives do quite well on existing social media platforms when they aren't being kicked off for violating the terms of service, and other conservative social media platforms that have attempted to launch this year haven't really gone off the ground.

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Big Tech's big challenge to the global order

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Read Ian Bremmer's wide-ranging essay in Foreign Affairs that puts in perspective both the challenge, and the opportunity, that comes from the unprecedented power of Big Tech.

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here on the road, something we haven't done very much recently, but will increasingly as we try to move through COVID. And I want to talk to you about a new article that I just put out in Foreign Affairs that I'm calling "The Technopolar Moment." Not unipolar, not bipolar, not multipolar, technopolar. What the hell does technopolar mean?

It means that increasingly big technology companies are themselves geopolitical actors. So to understand the future of the world, you can't just look at the United States, Europe and China. You need to look at the big tech companies, too.

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Nigeria bungled the chance to lead a global conversation on social media regulation

Nigeria's federal government earlier this month blocked Twitter from the country's mobile networks, after the social media company deleted a controversial post from President Muhammadu Buhari's account. The move by Africa's largest and most populous economy comes as many governments around the world are putting increased pressure on social media companies, with serious implications for free speech.

So what actually happened in Nigeria, and how does it fit in with broader trends on censorship and social media regulation? Eurasia Group analysts Amaka Anku and Tochi Eni-Kalu explain.

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The Graphic Truth: China's social media spin blitz

China is no stranger to using social media networks to influence public opinion. But as Chinese foreign policy becomes increasingly assertive, they are doing a lot more to win foreign hearts and minds on Facebook and Twitter. A joint investigation by the AP and the Oxford Internet Institute has revealed how Chinese diplomats and state media outlets are coordinating on social media to strategically amplify messages from Beijing — which are then further amplified by an army of fake accounts that Facebook and Twitter keep playing whack-a-mole with. We take a look at China's public diplomacy activity, reach, and engagement on Facebook and Twitter over the span of a few months since mid-2020.

What are NFTs, and how do they fit into the crypto landscape?

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

You may have heard that Jack Dorsey is selling his first tweet as an NFT in an auction, but what are NFTs?

Well, I had to do a little homework. NFT stands for "non-fungible tokens." They are unique digital files stored in a block chain and essentially a rare piece of data that becomes an asset. Also, because it can be authenticated. Now, actual ownership is one-off, unique, so unique that Christie's sold one of the highest paid pieces of art by a living artist ever as an NFT, for $69.3 million. And I guess just like with art on canvas, whether that was worth it is a matter of personal taste.

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Quick Take: Hypocrisy, truth, & authenticity in today's environment

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody, Ian Bremmer here. And happy Tuesday to you. I've got a Quick Take starting a little bit later because heck, we had a day off yesterday. It was President's Day. I hope you all enjoyed it. And even in Texas, I know it's tough down there right now, and not much fun. Here in New York, it's actually starting to thaw, which I appreciate, Moose does too.

Want to talk a little bit about hypocrisy, about truth, about authenticity, and what it means in today's environment. There is so much of the news that is driven by people not being trustworthy, by fake news.

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The worst time to enter Congress: Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace

Freshman Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace of South Carolina joined Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to recount her harrowing experience on Capitol Hill during the January 6 riots and to explain why she did not support impeaching a president she strongly condemned. She'll also discuss where she thinks Democrats and Republicans in Congress can come together in 2021.This is an extended interview from the recent GZERO World episode: After the insurrection: will Congress find common ground?

Mace referenced Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's account of the January 6 riots in a tweet on February 4. In late January, she told Ian Bremmer about her own experience on Capitol Hill that day. "I started to make my way back to my office, but I was unable to get to my building because of threats at the Capitol. In fact, there was a pipe bomb that was found just steps away from the Cannon Office building at C and First Street. And looking back at it now, I walked by a pipe bomb where that was to get into my office that day."

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Kara Swisher on Trump’s social media ban

What does renowned tech journalist Kara Swisher make of the swift and near-universal social media ban imposed on former President Trump shortly after the January 6 Capitol riots? She supported the move, but she doesn't think these companies should be left off the hook either. "Why are these systems built this way so someone like President Trump can abuse them in such a fashion. Or in fact, not abuse them but use them exactly as they were built." Her conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

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