Six months ago, Donald Trump released his own social media platform, its purpose being to welcome free speech. However, some have accused the app of censoring users, spreading misinformation, and embracing conspiracies. And so it begs the question, why is it named ‘Truth Social‘?
Throughout his presidency, Donald Trump’s voice existed loud and proud all across social media. His Twitter account reached a whopping 88.9 million followers, and during his years in the White House, he sent out a total of 25,000 tweets. In January 2021, however, after the Capitol riots, Trump’s ban from mainstream social media made his controversial presence quickly diminish.
The Influencer President
Since leaving office, Donald Trump has made no secret of his desire to be re-elected. However, his exclusion from the platforms which aided the success of his original campaign has made this challenging. Now, he has taken matters into his own hands. In February 2022, the Trump Media & Technology Group officially launched ‘Truth Social.’
‘TRUTH Social is America’s ”Big Tent” social media platform that encourages an open, free, and honest global conversation without discriminating against political ideology.’Truth Social Login Page
The first thing a user may notice about the app is its similarity to Trump’s old favorite, Twitter. Besides a few minor changes, (e.g. instead of re-tweeting, Trump’s version calls it ‘re-truthing’) the platform’s feed layout uses the familiar system of short quotes, hashtags, likes, and comments. The ex-president typically posts about his plans for re-election, his mistrust of the FBI, and conspiracies about the Trump 2020 failure.
Despite its mission to be a safe space for all political perspectives, the app seems to have become an implicitly Republican echo chamber. Trump, of course, is the most followed person on it.
But this is not the first time Trump tried to make an ‘uncensored’ online platform. In 2021, he launched the communications website, ‘From the Desk of Donald J. Trump.’ This was, however, quickly scrapped due to low engagement. Reports suggest that Truth Social may be suffering from the same issue. Compared with Trump’s previous Twitter following, the number of users on his app is but a fraction of that figure – around 4 million in total.
Truth Social’s major inconsistencies arguably lie in its censorship policies. Claiming to be a platform for ‘open, free and honest’ discussion, the app reportedly banned accounts mentioning topics like abortion and the January 6 hearings. The consumer rights group Public Citizen even found that Truth Social’s moderation of content was, ironically, more restrictive than Twitter.
An Inevitable Failure?
Donald Trump is no Zuckerburg or Dorsey. His track record for the use and abuse of social media is embarrassing, to say the least, and his motives for launching Truth Social are almost shamelessly political.
Several publications have predicted the app’s downfall, citing its financial incompetence, such as the loss of over $6 million in less than a year, as further evidence of its failures. This, combined with the app’s lack of approval from Google, and extremely slow rates of growth, suggests that ‘Truth Social’ is ultimately destined to go bust.