Donald Trump launches new social media app

Truth Social advertises itself as an app against political discrimination


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Donald Trump’s new app claims to be a platform free of political discrimination.

Maryam Khanum, Opinion Editor

In 2021, a plethora of popular social media apps, including Twitter and Facebook, banned former President Donald Trump from using their platforms following riots at the Capitol building on Jan. 6. A statement released by Twitter confirmed that this decision was motivated by Trump’s incendiary comments on the platform. 

“After close review of recent tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” the Twitter Safety account posted. 

“Due to the ongoing tensions in the United States and an uptick in the global conversation in regards to the people who violently stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, [Trump’s] tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country.” 

Over a year later, on Feb. 21, 2022, Trump launched his own social media app, Truth Social, which claims to be a “social media platform that is free from political discrimination.” The app allows users to post “truths”, and “re-truth” one another’s posts. Truth Social is geared toward allowing users to share their thoughts and opinions without having to face any censorship barriers. 

Out of curiosity, I downloaded the app. I was prompted to create an account using my email address, which I did, and was then redirected to a page informing me that my account had been created successfully, but that I had been placed on a waitlist “due to massive demand.” 

I was given a waitlist number, but I was reassured that I was “not just another number” to Truth Social. The app told me my number was 427,633, which made me think there were about 400,000 people on the waitlist, but I received an email later informing me that I had been bumped up to number 347,633. 

A quick Google search revealed that almost everyone who joined the app had a similar experience of being given one waiting list number and being emailed another completely different one. This discrepancy, coupled with the fact that you cannot find user data about the app anywhere, left me with no idea as to how many people actually joined the app or were on the waitlist. 

My experience with the app was fairly straightforward, but others didn’t fare so well and experienced many additional issues. According to CNET, “people who downloaded the app reported seeing error messages when they tried entering a birthdate, e-mail or phone number to create an account. “Something went wrong. Please try again,” the message read.

Considering Trump’s track record with misinformation, I’m doubtful of the truth-spreading intentions the app claims to have. In the months leading up to the 2020 general election, he engineered a scenario that would allow him to claim voter fraud despite the election being completely fair. 

He encouraged his supporters to vote in person on Nov. 3, while constantly disparaging mail-in ballots and remote voting. When the results of the mail in ballots obviously favored Biden, Trump cried foul. Throughout this ordeal, the social media platforms Trump used to deliver his message placed labels on each of his posts, warning his followers of the misinformation present in his narrative. 

The purpose behind Truth Social, though never explicitly mentioned, is obvious. When Trump relied on independent platforms such as Twitter, there was always an independent, objective party to keep him in check and hold him accountable for his statements. Twitter did hold him accountable, from their efforts of warning other users of the inaccuracy of his statements to banning him from their platform entirely for inciting violence.

Now, with a social media app he can control himself, Trump is attempting to establish a platform where no one can hold him accountable for the narratives he chooses to present. Whether it is spreading misinformation regarding COVID-19, blatantly lying about the results of the 2020 presidential election or instigating his following into a literal riot, Trump is creating a space where he can say whatever he wants without being answerable to a third party. 

Truth Social being “for the truth” is simply a guise, and another means for the former president to wreak havoc upon America’s democracy.