Donald Trump on Wednesday announced the launch of his own social network, “Truth Social,” after being banned in January from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, who accuse him of using their platforms to entice his supporters to violence before the assault on the Capitol.
The former president wants to “resist the tyranny of the giants of technology”, who “used their unilateral power to silence dissenting voices in America,” he said in a statement.
The platform will be owned by the newly created Trump Media & Technology (TMTG), a structure that will also provide video-on-demand service and “non-woke” podcasts, the statement said.
“We live in a world where the Taliban have a huge presence on Twitter while your favorite US president has been silenced. This is unacceptable, ”continues Donald Trump.
Even without Twitter, the Republican billionaire has quickly returned to the campaign since leaving the White House. From rallies to press releases, he supports the candidates who are loyal to him for the key midterm elections of November 2022, with his eyes turned to 2024.
The opportunity for him to continue to repeat his allegations of election “stolen” by the Democrats in 2020.
Assault on the Capitol
Donald Trump was ousted from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube after the violent assault on the Capitol by his supporters, during the certification ceremony of the victory of Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential election, on January 6.
Five people were killed during or shortly after the attack, including a police officer, but also a protester killed by an officer as she tried to force a door inside the building with dozens of others.
Twitter then excluded Donald Trump “indefinitely because of the risk of new incitement to violence”, cutting him off from his nearly 89 million subscribers.
Furious at no longer having access to his favorite megaphone, where he campaigned in 2016, announced a number of major presidential decisions as well as thunderous dismissals, the former president had promised the creation of a social network.
He had briefly launched a blog in May, which was in fact only a tab on his site where his press releases were collected, before putting an end to it under the mockery of observers convinced that it was about the network. social promised.
Launch in 2022
Truth Social will be available in beta by invitation from November 2021, before a general launch in the first quarter of 2022, said the press release, which indicates that the application is already available for pre-order on the App Store.
Trump Media & Technology Group will merge with Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC) in order to be listed, the statement said.
The DWAC company is a Spac (“Special Purpose Acquisition Company”): a company without commercial activity and whose goal is to raise funds by entering a stock exchange, then to merge with a target company that wishes to be listed, Donald Trump’s new group in this case.
DWAC is listed on the NASDAQ index and, according to the press release, Donald Trump’s new group would thus be valued at $ 875 million.
“I’m excited to start sharing my ideas on Truth Social soon,” said the one who also had 35 million Facebook followers and 24 million Instagram followers before being banned.
Trump vs tech giants
“Congratulations”, greeted in a statement Jason Miller, a former adviser to Mr. Trump and now boss of another conservative social network called “Gettr”.
“Now Facebook and Twitter will lose even more market share,” he added, despite the steady growth in the number of users of the two giants.
In January, the sudden ostracization of the head of state had been widely described as “censorship” by Republicans, and generally welcomed by elected Democrats and American civil society.
But in Europe, it had drawn criticism from associations and leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, worried about the power of technology companies over freedom of expression.
The American conspiratorial movements, declared supporters of Donald Trump, and the organizations involved in the riots (such as the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters, and the Proud Boys) had also been driven out of the dominant networks.
They had taken refuge on less mainstream platforms, including Parler, a sort of Conservative Facebook. The site was then excluded for several weeks from the web by Google, Apple and Amazon, because it violated their rules on the moderation of content that incites violence.