Elon Musk has bought Twitter (for $44 billion) and announced that the platform will be a platform for the development of free speech. How practical is this? Time will tell. We will also find out whether former President Donald Trump will return to Twitter. The world’s most influential man has been banned from the popular US social network. Trump has announced he will create an anti-Twitter app, Truth Social.
The truth? What is it?
Truth Social is a social media platform founded by the former president in October 2021 and officially owned by Trump Media & Technology Group.
Trump’s platform is a slogan-based mission:
No political discrimination,
A “culture of investment” is a culture of destroying opinions incompatible with a liberal vision,
Big Tech, standing up to big digital corporations.
Why was the Truth Social platform created?
The roots of the platform have already been mentioned. But it is worth going further. You can say what you want about Donald Trump’s presidency, but you can’t say it’s boring. Trump is known, among other things, for his extensive use of social media. He is particularly fond of Twitter, which is a very influential platform in American politics as well as fibre broadband and wireless broadband.
Critics say Trump’s Twitter policy undermines the dignity of the office. But his supporters have praised his direct engagement with voters. All agreed that he understands the nature of social media and knows how to use it skilfully. That was true right up until the tumultuous 2020 election campaign.
Trump was banned from Twitter
Twitter executives decided that the incumbent president was spreading misinformation or simply lying. The conflict between Trump and Twitter came to a head when Trump supporters took over Capitol Hill in January 2021. According to Twitter, the incumbent president riled the crowd by claiming the election was rigged. Trump’s accounts were permanently disabled (Facebook and YouTube temporarily suspended his accounts).
Trump immediately lost access to his account and his large army of 88.7 million followers. The debate in the US about freedom of speech and the power of social media moguls has intensified.
The furious former president challenged his rivals.
Big Tech claims that Silicon Valley and big media companies have become unacceptably left-wing. Worse, they are fighting people who do not follow their ideology.
In practice, this means censoring content and silencing dissent. Selectively, because Twitter can also be used by the Taliban in Afghanistan and now by Russian ministries.
Trump has announced that he will launch his own media platform, Truth Social.
“Truth Social will stand up to the tyranny of big technology,” he said, promising that his platform will “promote open, free and fair global debate free of discriminatory political ideologies”.
The claims are ambitious: Truth Social aims to be an uncensored platform for debate for people with different opinions.
The Truth Social app was launched in February 2022 and is only available in the App Store and only in the US and Canada.
Truth Social is only available in the U.S. and Canada, and there is no desktop version of the app (which is expected to be available by the end of May 2022).
Donald Trump’s app is free for users and is very similar to Twitter. It also has similar features. Notes are called “facts” and can be published (“ReTruths”, similar to “retweets”), commented on and “heard”. On the application’s user page, users can view their “facts” and “answers”. New users are given a list of profiles to follow.
Anti Twitter uses Mastodon, an open source social media hosting software. A lot of software can be purchased through Atlantek IT online shop.
There is no far west or unlimited freedom of expression in social justice. The rules for job applications prohibit discriminatory posts based on, for example, “religion, race, gender, nationality, age, marital status, sexual orientation or disability”. If you provide false information, you will be banned. However, you can appeal such a decision.
In the first few days, there were problems with the application. Many people reported that they could not create an account. After a few days, the application became available. The British newspaper The Guardian, for example, tried to register on 21 February and finally had access to the app on 5 March.
Trump’s opponents ridiculed the idea and questioned why Truth Social would want to protect users’ data from hackers if the company cannot even process customer data. The application is much slower than Twitter.
Interestingly, Trump himself has barely used the app. In the first month after launch, he posted only one message, but by the end of April he had two million followers.
How popular is Trump’s app?
Does social justice have a chance of success?
The debut of the platform has generated the most interest from internet users so far. The second wave of popularity for Donald Trump’s app followed the news of Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter.
Within days of its launch, Truth Social became the most downloaded app in the App Store (according to Similarweb), but by March it was already far behind at 173rd place. At the time, it was averaging just 300,000 visits per day.
Perhaps the app will attract conservatives and supporters of the former president who feel harassed on other social networking sites. After all, people like opinions they agree with. So it is unlikely that the Trump app will have users with a different worldview than the former president.
The Trump Media and Technology Group also announced the launch of TMTG+ and Video on Demand.