Still barred from posting on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, former U.S. President Donald Trump is launching his own social media platform called TRUTH Social in his latest bid to reconnect with supporters.
Of course, this one has a SPAC angle.
The new social media app’s parent company Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) will go public by merging with a special purpose acquisition company, allowing Trump to capitalize on his still sizable popularity with his supporters and regain his online presence in time for pivotal 2022 mid-term elections. Since the January 6 attack on the U.S. capitol, not only is the former president banned from posting on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, discourse by his followers is barred from Reddit, Amazon Web Services and Twitch.
“I created TRUTH Social and TMTG to stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech,” Donald Trump said in a press release. “We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American president has been silenced. This is unacceptable.” In a press deck for TMTG, one slide is devoted to the message: “Twitter bans U.S. President, Maintains Taliban Account”
Since his ban, Trump has consistently tried to break back onto the internet, which many speculate is a pre-cursor to a refreshed presidential campaign for 2024. The former U.S. president relied heavily on Twitter in the four years he spent in office and the 2016 campaign which put him there.
In June, Trump abandoned a website blog called “From the Desk of Donald J Trump,” after it failed to attract the audience he would have gained through more established social media sites. In early October, Trump asked a federal judge in Florida to restore his Twitter account, arguing members of Congress were “coerced” into banning him. With no online voice, Trump instead has resorted to issuing press releases, which he often does multiple times a day, and speaking with Trump-friendly media outlets.
His followers, too, have said they are increasingly alienated on Twitter and Facebook, and have instead flocked to more niche social media sites including Gettr, Parler and Gab.
The finances of the new Trump venture aren’t shabby. The blank cheque company which TMTG will merge—Digital World Acquisition Corp—is valued at $875 million, including debt, the press release said, and currently has $290 million on hand. SPAC listings are popular with investors, but carry more risk as they are subject to less regulatory scrutiny than a traditional IPO fund-raising.
Of course, just because Trump has been booted off Twitter doesn’t mean users on what was once his favored platform are done talking about him—or predicting his new site’s quick demise.
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