In an effort to circumvent big-tech censorship, Former President Donald J. Trump is launching his own social media platform called TRUTH Social. His hope is to create his own media empire, together with a social media network — independent from the algorithms that penalize conservative thought.
The company behind TRUTH Social is Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG) which will be listed on Nasdaq through a reverse merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp. The deal values the company at $1.7 billion.
Twitter, Facebook and Youtube have all banned Trump from posting on their sites. This was in reaction to Trump’s questioning of the 2020 election results.
The announced social media network is not Trump’s first attempt to go around social media censorship. Earlier this year, he launched a blog “From The Desk” where he sent updates to his fans. The blog failed to pick up momentum and Trump shut it down in May.
TRUTH Social is just the latest of alternative social media platforms that aim to cater to Trump supporters. Other vehicles included Parler and Gettr. But, both faced serious challenges.
Parler: Banned By Amazon, Google And Apple
The social network Parler launched in 2018 and grew steadily. However, trouble started at the January 6th protests – exactly when Trump lost his accounts.
Just days after the protests, Apple and Google removed the app from their App stores for failing to restrict content that “incident violence”.
Users could still download the app manually. That is, until just a few days later, Amazon kicked Parler from its hosting server.
Just before the site was shut down, an internet user archived much of public data from the site, to use it against those that supposedly incited violence. Parler’s APIs allowed anyone to scrape an unlimited amount of data from the site.
Following these events, Parler went into a month-long shutdown that lasted until February 2021.
Parler is currently available on Google and Apple app stores.
Gettr: Technical Issues From Day One
Former Donald Trump spokesperson Jason Miller launched the “free speech” app Gettr in July 2021.
Like Parler, Gettr was plagued with issues on launch. Just days after the company began, hackers used Gettr’s API to scrape the email addresses of its 85,000 users. Hackers exploited technical issues with the site to feed it with Sonic the Hedgehog NSFW “fan art.”
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Miller said he could not reach an agreement with Trump to join Gettr.
“President Trump has always been a great deal-maker, but we just couldn’t come to terms on a deal,” said Miller, wishing Trump well with his app.
— GETTR (@GETTRofficial) October 21, 2021
Successful Alternatives That Work
The former examples notwithstanding, successful alternative social media networks are out there.
This includes social network Gab, messaging platform Telegram and video-hosting platform Rumble.
If Trump and his team can avoid some of the technical challenges to build a safe, reliable site on an independent platform, he might have a chance to build a successful channel to reach his audience.