Following the complete flop of his silly little blog, Donald Trump announced this week that he will be launching his own social media platform called Truth Social. The site is, as you might expect, focused on “free speech,” allowing Trump’s silenced camp of constituents to finally share their unbridled feelings.
Unless their feelings happen to be critical of the platform itself, that is. According to Truth Social’s terms of service, it’s completely prohibited to use the site to “disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the Site.”
In the context of Trump’s entire mission statement for Truth Social, this prohibition is so paradoxical it ends up being objectively hilarious. This man really went out of his way to create an entire website as a space for “free speech” and then contradicted himself before it even launched.
Not that we would’ve expected any less. Authoritarian governments love shutting down their critics before they’ve even had the chance to speak.
Stand up to Big Tech — Trump’s press statement about his new platform — which, notably, he was unable to share on Twitter or Facebook because he has been banned from both since January — attempts to make the case that Truth Social is an altruistic project.
“I created TRUTH Social and TMTG to stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech,” he writes in his press release. “We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced. This is unacceptable.”
Anyone who has been paying the slightest bit of attention to Trump’s social media activity in the last few years will understand that this is a personal vendetta for Melania’s husband. He has pulled a wide variety of stunts to act out his vengeance in the past, such as signing flimsy executive orders and crafting a class-action lawsuit against Big Tech CEOs. He doesn’t care about the public’s ability to speak up — he just wants to complete his personal revenge narrative against Facebook and Twitter.
“Everyone asks me why doesn’t someone stand up to Big Tech?” Trump writes. “Well, we will be soon!”
NO CAPS! — The rule against criticizing Truth Social on Truth Social is the wildest prohibition in the site’s terms of service, but there are other gems to be found, too. For example, the “excessive use of capital letters” is not allowed. It’s unclear how Trump will be able to follow this rule himself; all-caps tweets have always been a favorite of his.
Good luck, dude — All we really know about Truth Social is that it will launch sometime in the first quarter of 2022, with some beta testers invited to try it next month. (And that you won’t be able to criticize it in any form.)
This leaves us with lots of questions, not the least of which is how, exactly, Trump plans to keep the Truth Social app on the App Store and Play Store when it will no doubt be filled with content that goes against Apple and Google’s policies. When Parler faced this issue, it created an app that filters the worst of its users’ content, but it seems unlikely that would jive with Trump.
Already the site has proven itself unwieldy. Some clever detectives found a live URL that allowed them to sign up for the site and took the @donaldtrump handle. We’re thankful that these sleuths have given us a first look at the site’s interface, too, which looks just like Twitter but much less polished. Much less polished.
Team Trump will need to juggle an enormous slew of potential issues in order to keep this network up and running. Social platforms started by Trump’s other friends have never exactly worked out as planned.
“I’m excited to send out my first TRUTH on TRUTH Social very soon,” Trump writes. Cornier than ever.