Gadgets & apps

This article was published on February 21, 2022

Brace yourselves, Trump has just launched his social network

Sadly, it's not on web3


Brace yourselves, Trump has just launched his social network
Ivan Mehta
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Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

The inevitable has happened. Donald Trump’s social network, TRUTH, has just launched on the US App Store.

A lot has happened since Trump announced this new venture last October. Last December, Investors pumped $1 billion into the Digital World Acquisition Corp, a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) that aimed to fund the Truth platform. Rumors about the social network’s imminent launch surfaced in January without a specified go-live date, and the firm subsequently started testing the app in a closed beta with around 500 users.

All of this started last year, when Trump was removed from major platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Shopify — while he was in office as President.

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Since then, he and his supporters have demanded a platform that fights “the tyranny of Big Tech.” Donald Trump Jr. even urged Elon Musk to build one, but I guess he was busy somewhere else.

After no one heeded the call, Trump & Co. decided to build their own platform, so here we are.

Conservative social media has been around for a while, in the form of networks like Gettr and Gab. But Trump’s Truth might be the ultimate flag bearer of the right — and a new home for folks banned on mainstream platforms.

As my colleague Tristan Greene noted in his piece, it’d be foolish to compare something like Truth to Twitter:

Make no mistake, Trump and his partners are likely to make money hand over fist with the launch of TRUTH. But comparing what TRUTH is trying to accomplish to what Twitter’s doing is like comparing what Reddit did with GameStonk to what Warren Buffet’s done with his big tech investments over the past 30 years.

There are a ton of questions about how the platform will function, and how it will handle the inevitable challenges of user-generated content moderation. More than growth or revenue generation, Truth needs to avoid Parler’s fate by keeping hate speech at bay. Otherwise, it may risk being removed from the App Store and losing its user base.

Truth social network doesn't look too different from any other social network.
Truth social network doesn’t look too different from any other social network.

Now that the social network has launched, Trump supporters are out with their megaphones, claiming that the app is already a success — but most of them are on…a waiting list. At the time of writing, Truth social’s website is denying access to new visitors — maybe to avoid a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack.

Trump social netwokr
Trump social’s service was not inaccessible at launch.

All things considered, I have to give it to Trump for sticking to his conservative roots, and launching a Web2 based-platform in 2022. No TrumpCoin or TruthDAO for now. Sad reacts only.

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