Truth Bound to Hurt With Trump’s New Social Media Empire on the Horizon
When Donald Trump’s historic presidency ended in 2021, Americans witnessed the politician’s retreat and removal from social media platforms such as Twitter. As he departed from the White House’s spotlight, a new potential stock investment came to Wall Street: a SPAC with the sole purpose of backing Donald Trump’s media ventures that goes by the names of the Digital World Acquisition Corporation (DWAC), and more recently, the Trump Media Technology Group (TMTG). A SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company) is often referred to as a “blank check” company because it is essentially a pooling of cash from investors in the public trading sphere without an explicit target until they find something to intentionally back. In this case, it was a hopeful future media empire led by the 45th President of the United States.
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On the week of October 22, former President Trump announced that he intends to create the Truth Social platform to rival technology giants like Twitter and Facebook with the money pooled in this SPAC.
Due to the former world leader’s specific experience and time in multiple spotlights including business, television and politics, Trump has gained many loyal followers that have been at his side consistently throughout the past few years and are notably vocal on social media platforms ranging from Twitter to Parler. In his past ventures, one can see a pattern of public trading and ultimate gains for the individual himself, but not his investors. For example, Trump Entertainment Resorts and its subsequent casinos filed for bankruptcy three times and lost more than a billion dollars. Trump, however, individually was rewarded as he made more than $44 million in salaries and additional workers compensations.
In terms of the content and layout of the Truth Social platform, Trump would have complete reign over what gains popularity on the site. In an upvoting fashion like Twitter or Reddit, the site will prompt users to send “Truths” or “Re-Truths” that will gain popularity with more exposure. The site itself has already noted on its homepage’s Terms of Service that it will not tolerate any content that will “disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the Site.” This tight hold puts the company at an advantage as it makes sure that it will only be rewarding positive comments about the site and, in turn, about President Trump. These terms indicate posts will only paint a positive picture of his ventures and serve as a breeding ground for similar ideological followers of Donald Trump to come together. The app promises to be another conservative echo chamber like the social media circles that were breeding grounds for planning of the storming of the Capitol on January 6.
With Donald Trump’s newest venture, it is certain that the former president is not fading quietly into the night, but rather fusing politics and the media, two spheres that he is active in, with a hopeful monopoly over ideas. With the aims of promoting truth in every aspect of the word, critics expect miscommunication and the spread of misinformation to run rampant on this new platform.