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‘Truth Social’: Ex-US prez Donald Trump gets his own social media platform

Former US president Donald Trump has announced launch of his own social media platform ‘Truth Social’. Trump was shut down by Twitter, Facebook and Google’s YouTube in the aftermath of the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.
This illustration photo shows a person checking the app store on a smartphone for ‘Truth Social’, with a photo of former US president Donald Trump on a computer screen in the background, in Los Angeles. (AFP)
Published on Oct 21, 2021 09:01 PM IST
ByYashwant Raj I Edited by Amit Chanda

Former US president Donald Trump misses the social media megaphones he had before the January 6 insurrection. Shut out by them, he has now unveiled his own digital media venture that will launch a new social media platform in November called “Truth Social”, ostensibly to give him back his megaphone.

A beta version of the platform is expected to be launched next month, but only for some invited guests. The national rollout is slated for the first quarter of 2022.

“I created Truth Social and TMTG to stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech,” the former president said in a statement issued in his capacity as chairman of Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG), which will launch the new social platform. “We live in a world where the Taliban have a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favourite American president has been silenced.”

Donald Trump was shut down by Twitter, Facebook and Google’s YouTube in the aftermath of the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol in which, instigated by him at a rally, his supporters had stormed the US Congress. It aimed to prevent a joint sitting of the House of Representatives and the Senate from certifying President Joe Biden’s election as president, which is usually a formality but Trump tried to use it to remain in power in defiance of the election mandate.

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Donald Trump has railed against the ban and he and his supporters have wrongly claimed it is violation of the First Amendment of the US constitution that guarantees free speech, but only from government restrictions and clampdowns.

Trump has also sued to get his social media accounts restored. His attorneys filed lawsuits against Twitter, Facebook and YouTube in July demanding overturning of their ban claiming it violated his First Amendment rights and of other conservatives also closed down by these companies. Earlier in October, he filed a motion asking a federal judge to order Twitter to restore his account.

The former president has now launched his own technology company and a new social media platform. He announced the merger of TMTG with Digital World Acquisition Corp, which is a special purpose acquisition company, an increasingly popular alternative to initial public offerings.

Trump had 89 million followers on Twitter when his account was closed. Since then, he has used email to convey his thoughts and remarks, with similar frequency and wordage. But they don’t have the same explosive impact as his tweets that had rung around the world in an instant.

Donald Trump has returned to holding political rallies and events and has tightened his grip on the Republican party. Polls show he remains a favourite for the party’s presidential nomination for 2024 by an overwhelming margin. He has teased the possibility of a run but has not publicly committed to it yet.

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