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Donald Trump and Truth Social: The ex


In the fight against the allegations from the US investigative committee, Donald Trump is taking advantage of his own Twitter competitors. But the prestige project has long been on the way to becoming a non-starter.

Dear reader,

After all, Donald Trump is now actually using Truth Social.

After the official launch of the short message service in February, the former US President had been inactive for two months.

Now, social media breaks are beneficial for many people.

But for Truth Social, Trump's absence was an image problem, as not only is he portrayed as the big star user, but he is also the chairman of the company behind the Twitter clone, Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG).

One wondered whether Trump could really have lost interest in his new megaphone so quickly, which was supposed to help him get over his Twitter ban.

This Tuesday, no one could accuse Trump of not posting enough on Truth Social.

While Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House staffer, described to the US Congress investigative committee what misconduct the then president is said to have committed during the days of the Capitol storm, Trump used the network to discredit Hutchinson.

"I hardly know who this person, Cassidy Hutchinson, is, other than hearing very negative things about her (a total fraud and 'leaker')," Trump wrote in one of several posts.

Hutchinson's report, for example, that Trump tried to grab the driver of his limousine on the steering wheel, was described by the ex-president as a "fake" story and as "sick and malicious".

Hutchinson is a "bumbag".

These are tirades and insults, as we know them from Trump and how they are still well received by his supporters.

One might think that Truth Social should be a sure-fire success on the Internet – at the latest now that Trump is actively using the channel.

According to a major investigation by the news agency Reuters, the network, which is advertised as "social media without discrimination", continues to have massive problems.

Personnel problems apparently slow down technical progress

Apparently, the makers have been missing capable staff since the early days of 2021.

So far there is only an iPhone, but no Android app.

In its first year alone, TMTG is said to have had three different heads of technology.

From the start, TMTG managers tried to avoid potential partner companies and employees who were perceived as politically liberal, reports Reuters, citing insiders.

The tech industry in the USA is politically more left-wing.

Due to the lack of cooperation with Silicon Valley giants, TMTG missed out on a lot of know-how.

When Truth Social was officially launched in February, people were hoping for the skills of two small cloud providers whose servers were apparently not up to the stress.

It didn't help that they were politically close to Trump.

As Reuters writes, TMTG allegedly initially even planned to cooperate with the industry giant Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Ultimately, however, Amazon was seen as an opponent.

Not very attractive to advertisers

It is unclear which partnerships would have been open to TMTG at all.

Reuters emphasizes that many developers and tech companies were and are not interested in working with a Trump company.

According to the report, there is a comparable reluctance among advertisers: large companies such as beer, chip or diaper manufacturers risk losing customers through advertising deals with Truth Social, the news agency quotes marketing expert Allen Adamson as saying.

TMTG can count on advertising revenue, for example from gun manufacturers.

The big money does not flow in this area.

Financially, things don't look too rosy for TMTG.

Important representatives of a company vehicle called Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC), which is to take over TMTG and provide it with capital, are currently the focus of US investigators for possible violations of the law.

Depending on how things go, this could delay or prevent the deal and thus a cash injection that was actually planned.

Even more crucial for the long-term perspective is user interest in Truth Social.

A social network is only as relevant as its content is significant.

And in this discipline, too, the Trump offer is weakening.

According to market researchers from Sensor Tower, the iPhone app had only been downloaded 2.8 million times by the beginning of June.

Echo Chamber Truth Social

Since the app was launched, hardly a posting, not a so-called truth, has drawn external attention to Truth Social.

Some conservatives may feel at home on the platform, partly because accounts critical of Trump are sometimes banned.

But the app lacks the debate, the argument with the other political side.

The really exciting .

While posts from Twitter constantly go viral and are then embedded on media sites, for example, Trump himself has to post something on Truth Social so that it is noticed beyond the network.

It's like Facebook is dependent on Mark Zuckerberg's posts.

According to Reuters research, technical innovations are not to be expected at Truth Social either.

As the news agency reports, shortly after TMTG was founded, two executives were asked by their own developers about their vision for the company.

The two reportedly responded that they wanted to emulate Twitter — just without its content moderation policies, which angered some conservatives.

This lack of ambition on the part of key figures in terms of content suggests one thing: If, after all the back and forth of the past few weeks, Elon Musk still buys Twitter and implements his promise of more freedom of speech, Truth Social would then be completely superfluous at the latest.

According to Reuters, Donald Trump would also be contractually ready for a Twitter comeback at any time: According to the report, all his postings should be available exclusively on Truth Social for six hours.

But there should be an exception for what Trump sends most often: “political messages”.

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I wish you a good rest of the week

Markus Boehm

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-06-29

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