why Donald Trump is launching his personal social community

After multiple delays, Donald Trump’s social network, called “Truth Social” (which could be translated as “truth network”), began to be launched gradually – and with some difficulty – on Monday, February 21. Very strongly inspired by Twitter, the social network uses technology from Mastodon, a free alternative to the American social network. First introduced in the App Store, the network is designed to be “fully operational” by the end of March, according to Devin Nunes, head of the Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), the company designing the new network.

The story of Truth Social is first and foremost a story of revenge. Donald Trump was banned from Twitter for life on January 8, 2021, because he published several messages in which he encouraged the rioters who stormed the Capitol on January 6. The outgoing president is furious: a compulsive Twitter user, on whom he could post messages dozens of times a day during his term, is now deprived of his favorite social network.

The former US president, who for years has constantly condemned the alleged “censorship” led by major US social networks over his supporters, has repeatedly relied on persecution from Twitter and Facebook to launch the first “alternative” service. In early May, his team launched From the Desk Donald Trump, a page where he posted short messages. Then Trump’s team ensured that one could quickly register there, post messages and comments … In short, that it would be a real social network. But after barely a month of activity, Donald Trump’s desk was closed indifferently, due to a very small number of visits.

Six months later, in October, Donald Trump announced the upcoming launch of TRUTH Social – by replacing the platform, the former president has not lost his taste for words written in capital letters. A platform created for “Speak up against the tyranny of Big Tech” i “give everyone a voice”. “Everyone asks me why no one opposes great technology.”he wrote in a press release. “Well, we’ll do that soon!” » But the project is late with the deadline: the date of the first launch, in November, is rapidly moving to “the beginning of 2022”.

Read also Donald Trump announces the launch of his own social network Truth Social

Huge funding

If the platform is not ready yet, behind the scenes, Donald Trump and his team are busy signing partnerships. Rumble, an unmoderated video platform that charges as an alternative to YouTube, provides its own technology for streaming videos on the service. Above all, TMTG has managed to raise significant sums: after a difficult start, the company is together with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC, an empty shell that speeds up the IPO process) has managed to raise $ 300 million, including from big names in finance in the United States, including a branch of investment bank JP Morgan. The merger has also led the alliance to raise an additional $ 1 billion in promised funding, but those funds will only be disbursed if the merger agreement, which is under investigation by U.S. regulators, is ratified.

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These fundraising actions give Truth Social a significant competitive advantage, while “alternative” or “uncensored” social networks, which primarily seek to attract the support of the former president and extreme right-wing activists, have grown in the last three years. Gab, Parler and Gettr all three are trying to take the disputed position of the leading social network of the American right. But while these platforms have benefited from an influx of new registrations after Donald Trump was banned from Facebook and Twitter, they lack the funds for Truth Social or Donald Trump’s presence. Everyone tried to bring the former president into their network, reserving a certain account for him and promising him high visibility, even, in the case of Parler, 40% of the company’s shares. Negotiations have never borne fruit. However, former first lady Melania Trump opened an account there.

Ultrapoliticized networks are only of relative interest because they already preach to the convinced

According to almost all experts, political scientists, sociologists or economists, “militant” social networks are structurally doomed, in the worst case, to failure, at best, to reaching the ceiling fairly quickly. Almost all users prefer to use only one social network and can find all their social circles there. Even from a purely militant point of view, ultrapoliticized networks are of relative interest because they already preach to the convinced.

All of these competing platforms have also faced very similar challenges in the last three years. The lack or inadequacy of their moderation has led certain technical service providers to cut off access to them: Gab has thus lost its contract with Microsoft Azure, and Parler has been removed from Apple and the Google App Store. Everyone has also experienced their share of technical setbacks and more or less serious hacks; Gettr was flooded with polluting messages, and Gaba’s passwords were hacked. The culprit is, in part, the recruitment difficulties for these sulfur platforms, sometimes highlighted by internal disagreements – the entire Gettr IT security team was fired in late December, and the reasons for this brutal decision are unclear.

2024 in sight

Launching a social network over which he has all the power is also, U.S. observers note, an additional brick in Donald Trump’s new campaign in the 2024 presidential election. Deprived of the network he used extensively to campaign and dictate On the media agenda in 2016, the former president made no secret of his intention to run again.

His latest public message, released on February 4, took the form of a statement on the Canadian “Freedom Convoy” movement, which had been blocked for more than three weeks. the center of the capital of Canada, Ottawa. Mr. Trump, who is signing the text as TMTG CEO, reveals his usual criticisms against “censorship” performs, according to him, Facebook and Twitter, and is delighted to be a convoy “I’m getting ready to come to Washington to protest the ridiculous rules Biden has set against Covid.” Except that no major demonstrations related to this movement took place in the American capital. Probable taste of his future messages with the “Truth Social” stamp.

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