The Lackluster Trump Media "Truth Social" Collapse Evident....Warning: Long Read...

[SIZE=6]MAGA-world fails to flock to Truth Social[/SIZE]

03/09/2022 11:30 AM EST

The former president vowed to turn the social media world upside down with a platform of his own.

But so far, his platform has little engagement and is missing some of Trump’s top supporters.!/quality/90/?
Former President Donald Trump and his immediate circle have shown little public interest in Truth Social.
His inactivity has been a source of frustration among some allies pushing the app. | John Raoux/AP Photo

At the Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida, speculation of a 2024 presidential bid by former President Donald Trump loomed large.

But fanfare about his Truth Social app that had launched earlier that week? There was hardly any.

Trump mentioned the app in passing only a few times on stage. People including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) name-dropped Truth Social, but there was barely any buzz at the conference about the app.

“Other than [Trump], what makes a platform compelling enough to come back over and over again? How is it different than Twitter and Parler?” said one Republican digital strategist, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly about different conservative apps.

After Twitter permanently suspended Trump, the self-proclaimed “Ernest Hemingway of 140 characters” vowed to turn the social media world upside down with a platform of his own. But well more than a year later, his platform has failed to prove it’s ready to cause the kind of disruption he imagined.

Worse, there’s not much public enthusiasm around the current venture. Top figures in Trumpworld are barely using the app — some give the verbal equivalent of a shrug when asked about it — and Trump himself has only posted one “Truth.”!/quality/90/?
A screenshot of a post by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R.-Ga.) on Truth Social, captured on March 7, 2022. | Truth Social/POLITICO Screenshot

It’s a lackluster rollout that threatens a long-held dream for some on the right: that an app bolstered by the former president’s star power could jumpstart a social media ecosystem with the same power to amplify conservative voices as AM talk radio or Fox News. And it illustrates one of the great hurdles that conservatives have failed to overcome when trying to launch social media empires of their own: Their followers are eager to argue with the opposition, not necessarily to mingle among the like-minded.

“The fun of Twitter is that you can have that interaction with many different communities,” said Erik Finman, a bitcoin investor and Trump supporter who founded a company called Freedom Phone that markets itself to conservatives with an app store not tied to “Big Tech” — a.k.a. Apple or Google.

Truth Social was designed to take on large tech platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter — all of which kicked Trump off their platforms following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. But behind the scenes, many of those close to the former president say they have been left in the dark about the app, its progress, or even who is involved.

And Trump and his immediate circle have shown little public interest in Truth Social. Trump’s inactivity has been a source of frustration among some allies pushing the app. Former first lady Melania Trump is on the app but also announced in February that she will be making another platform, Parler, her “social media home.”

There are no verified accounts on Truth Social for the former president’s adult children Donald Jr., Eric, Ivanka, or Tiffany, although there are unverified accounts purporting to be them.

Trump was involved in the initial development of the app, which was built by Trump Media and Technology Group, a publicly-traded media group that aims to capitalize off Trump’s name with entertainment and social media ventures. During a recent radio interview, Trump mused about how he came up with the name “TRUTH.”

But one former Trump adviser said that after being banned from Twitter, Trump has been pleased with the reach he’s gotten with emailed statements that his presidential office and Save America PAC blast to the press.

“I think him doing the press releases — it hasn’t been that bad of an outlet for him. If he wants to write out a three-paragraph scribe where he can go on about any topic, it’s a good outlet for him. They cover it just like they would a tweet,” said the former adviser, who was granted anonymity to talk frankly about Trump’s social media use.!/quality/90/?
A screenshot of a Michael Flynn “ReTruth” on Truth Social, captured on March 7, 2022. | Truth Social/POLITICO Screenshot

Even so, many expected Truth Social to provide a bigger megaphone for Trump and rally the MAGA base. So far, he hasn’t been big enough of a draw.

Approximately 313,000 people follow Trump on Truth Social — just a fraction of the more than 85 million who once followed him on Twitter. That could be due, in part, to a waitlist to get onto the site that is still hundreds of thousands of people long. But many major players in the conservative world also aren’t on the app. There are no verified accounts for Trump’s former advisers Steve Bannon and Rudy Giuliani, although unverified accounts exist, based on a search Tuesday. While top conservative talk show host Dan Bongino has an account, Glenn Beck and Tucker Carlson did not appear in the search.

And the app itself has been tripped up with technical difficulties from the moment it launched for a limited number of users on Feb. 20. For being a social media platform, there is little social interaction among users, say some of the individuals who have joined from waitlists. This raises questions about its ability to compete with major Silicon Valley platforms, even if it can garner the user base.

A spokesperson for Truth Social did not return repeated requests for an interview or comment.

Ahead of the launch, the app did manage to recruit some Trump allies, superfans, and conservative influencers, like Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Close allies were given VIP status and early access to the Alpha and Beta versions of the app. Trump’s right-hand man for social media, Dan Scavino, has made numerous posts on the app, although his reach there is not nearly as far as on Twitter. Scavino currently has approximately 115,000 followers on Truth, compared with his 1.4 million followers on Twitter.!/quality/90/?
A screenshot of the Truth Social profile of Rep. Lauren Boebert (R.-Colo.) captured on March 8, 2022. | Truth Social/POLITICO Screenshot

The rocky start has raised questions about Truth Social’s viability — especially as it joins other conservative-leaning social media platforms including Gettr, Parler, Gab, and video-streaming site Rumble, all of which are trying to draw Trump supporters with promises of less content moderation.

It’s a difficult market to get into. Meta’s Facebook and Twitter have gigantic user bases, and newer platforms such as Tiktok that have risen in recent years have offered a vastly different type of user experience, rather than just targeting a different audience.

Gettr’s CEO Jason Miller said his app has nearly 5 million users, compared with 2.9 billion on Facebook and 217 million on Twitter. Truth Social has not provided data on how many users are on the app. Waitlist counters put the number of signups at nearly 500,000 on the first two days after its launch, though many of those are still waiting to be let in.

One possible reason for the low user numbers: the echo chamber isn’t really what people want.

As the Republican digital strategist noted, there is less fun in social media when all users share the same political views.

“You can’t get ratioed when everyone is on your side,” the strategist said.

[INDENT]Other than [Trump], what makes a platform compelling enough to come back over and over again? [/INDENT]
[INDENT]How is it different than Twitter and Parler?[/INDENT]
[INDENT]Republican digital strategist[/INDENT]
Truth Social also may not be the most effective way for Trump to engage with the public. Top consultants close to Trump argue that if he once again doesn’t have a filter, it could equate to a return of public relations headaches.

“If you care about Trump winning, you don’t want Truth Social to work,” said another Republican strategist.

Some in Trump circles note that Truth Social is still in the midst of a “soft launch,” and that it takes years for any social media app to get off the ground.

Former Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), CEO of Trump Media and Technology Group, has said that after months of delays, Truth Social is expected to be “fully operational” in the coming weeks and expects to attract users who have been booted or turned off by more mainstream platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

“Give us some time and we’ll get it right,” Nunes told Sean Spicer during an interview on Newsmax in February.

Nunes, a longtime ally of Trump, left Congress for Trump’s media group.
But beyond Nunes, nearly a dozen people in Trump circles contacted for this article have been unable to name anyone else working on the app, which was developed in secrecy.

[INDENT]You can’t get ratioed when everyone is on your side.[/INDENT]
[INDENT]Republican digital strategist[/INDENT]
Truth Social is purportedly aiming to “encourage an open, free and honest global conversation without discrimination against political ideology,” according to Trump Media and Technology Group’s website. All of the posts on the platform are known as “Truths” and reposts as “ReTruths.”

It also appears to be trying to give users as close of an experience to the big social media sites as possible. It uses a blue-color design similar to both Twitter and Facebook and copies Twitter’s microblogging features, as seen in Trump’s first post.

Gettr’s Miller argues his app will benefit from Truth Social’s launch. “This isn’t about the competition between Gettr and Truth or anybody else that’s an alternative platform. This is more about taking market share from the big tech platforms,” he said.

For the moment, the proliferation of conservative social media platforms is frustrating even to some in their target demographic.!/quality/90/?
A screenshot of former President Donald Trump’s first post on Truth Social, captured on March 7, 2022. | Truth Social/POLITICO Screenshot

“Between Gettr, Rumble, Parler — it’s a pain to keep up with all this shit,” said one prominent Republican, who was granted anonymity to describe their frustration with the apps. “People are going to sign up for it, there’s no question about it. … If I can repost [from other apps] to Truth Social, then great, but right now it’s constantly having to remember to cut and paste posts onto [other platforms].”

Matt Navarra, a social media strategist, said there’s no indication that such fringe sites are cutting into the major platforms’ market share.

Navarra said mainstream platforms like Facebook and Twitter may even be thankful to not have to manage polarizing figures like Trump and Greene on their platforms: “If all that content and all those troublemakers go there, then that’s something someone else has to deal with.”

Ruby Cramer and Bob King contributed to this report.


It’ll gain traction soon enough

[SIZE=7]Trump is furious about the slow, botched launch of his Truth Social platform, a report says[/SIZE]
[email protected] (Tom Porter) - 5h ago

Trump is frustrated by the slow rollout of his social-media app Truth Social, The Washington Post reported.
Trump has privately “fumed” about the delayed launch of the app, and has even mused about joining Gettr, a rival app set up by former aide Jason Miller, sources close to the matter told The Post.


Truth Social partially opened in February, when Trump posted his first message on the network.
But, more than a month after the release of the site’s iPhone app, many users who have signed up for the platform remained unable to access it.
Insider reported last week after managing to access the platform that there are few authentic accounts and that feeds are plagued by bot accounts. This is despite the site’s CEO, former congressman Devin Nunes, promising it would be fully operational by the end of March.

Truth Social was billed as an alternative to platforms like Twitter or Facebook, from which Trump was banned for inciting violence in the wake of the attack on the Capitol by his supporters on Jan 6, 2021.
In recent weeks two senior tech executives have resigned their positions on Truth Social, Reuters reported.

Reuters also said that Truth Social signups had fallen sharply, from 866,000 in launch week to 60,000 in the week to March 14. It cited the monitoring firm SensorTower for the data.
According to the Post, the resignations came as Nunes appointed his own people to top positions in the hope of speeding up the launch of the site.
Trump remains optimistic the site will eventually become profitable, but is not posting on it yet because it is “not ready for prime time,” an advisor close to Trump told the publication.
Truth Social is one of a number of apps released to combat what conservatives have characterised as the “cancel culture” and censorship on mainstream platforms. Some sites, such as Parler, have become hubs for conspiracy theories, extremism, and other forms of illicit content because of their lax moderation policies.
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[SIZE=6]I spent a week on Trump’s new social media app Truth Social. I felt like I was exploring a ghost town.[/SIZE]
[li]I spent a week on Truth Social, Donald Trump’s new social media app. It was like a ghost town.[/li][li]Lots of prominent right-wingers, like Tucker Carlson and Ben Shapiro, weren’t anywhere to be seen.[/li][li]Much of the content in my news feed was auto-generated and many of the app’s functions didn’t work.[/li][/ul]

@patco :

[SIZE=7]Welcome to the Trump circus — without the clown-in-chief[/SIZE]

[SIZE=6]Other politicians are now playing the same destabilizing role as the former president[/SIZE]

APRIL 6, 2022

Remember the Trump administration? I sometimes wonder if we do.

Not the big moments — the corporate tax cut, the chummy meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, the insults to our NATO allies, the two impeachments, the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021. Those events have become part of our country’s recent political history and remain fully present in our minds.
I mean the feeling of those four years. The sense of the country descending into chaos, driven to mad derangement by the president of the United States tweeting insults and provocations 24/7. To cite one example among thousands, on the morning of April 17, 2020, more than a month into lockdowns connected to the COVID-19 pandemic and a day after issuing guidance for reopening the country that deferred to state officials,

President Donald Trump tweeted “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!,” “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!,” and “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd amendment. It is under siege!”


What did it mean? Was the president inciting an insurrection against the governors of these states? Was he joking? Trolling half of the country like some social media s–t poster with an unusually large and attentive following?

Just about every day of the Trump presidency felt like the morning of April 17, 2020. Our president was a gaslighting demagogue-carnival barker, the ringmaster of the three-ring circus he’d set up at the center of our national life. To cover, closely follow, or comment on the news during those years was to question one’s own sanity and capacity for a shock on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.
And then it was over.

Despite Trump’s pathetic incapacity to accept the truth of his defeat in the 2020 election, he in fact lost and left office at the appointed time, losing access to his social media megaphone in the process. The result has been at least a partial reversion to a more normal style of politics, with a fairly boring president doing properly presidential things, and a political news cycle somewhat less manic and harried. And as a result, we’ve begun to forget the experience of political psychosis that marked the preceding four years — while vaguely dreading its return the moment the 45th president launches another campaign for the presidency a little over a year from now.

Yet recent events show there’s no reason to treat Trump as a necessary and sufficient condition of political mayhem. Like all good teachers, he produced protégés — students eager to follow his lead in pumping sewage into our democracy.
I’m not talking about the many right-leaning intellectuals trying to forge a coherent policy agenda around Trump’s populist instincts and impulses. I’m talking more about those aping Trump’s quasi-absurdist style of conman provocation. The style works like this: Make one outrageous accusation or insinuation after another; wait for one to gain traction, defined as getting pick-up on social media as a meme shared by one’s own side or as a target of defensive outrage or mockery by political enemies; then double down on it, reinjecting it into circulation with new variations that gain additional attention. Before you know it, politicians and media personalities will be using the once-outrageous accusation or insinuation to frame discussion of events in the news.

Consider what’s happened during the three weeks since Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley tweeted a long thread accusing Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s choice to succeed retiring Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court, of being soft on “sex offenders, especially those preying on children” because she has sometimes opted to impose lighter sentences for those convicted of possession of child porn.
Mainstream media outlets as well as prominent conservative authors immediately rose to Jackson’s defense, calling Hawley’s attack thoroughly “disingenuous.” Some pointed to harsh statements she’d made in her career about those trafficking in child porn. Others noted that 38 Republicans in the Senate supported, and Trump himself signed, the First Step Act in 2018, a criminal justice reform bill that included reductions in sentencing guidelines broadly congruent with Jackson’s actions on the bench. As a result, the consensus prior to the start of Jackson’s appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee was that Hawley’s accusations were groundless.

But that didn’t keep Hawley and others on the committee from raising them repeatedly over the course of the hearings. Or the right’s leading media personalities from spreading the sleazy claims, which played into QAnon-based conspiracies about pedophile rings at work within the Democratic Party and Washington, D.C.

By the time Utah Sen. Mitt Romney announced his intent to join fellow Republicans Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Susan Collins of Maine in backing Jackson’s nomination, the Trumpian right was ready to pounce. Unsurprisingly, first out of the gate was Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican who appears to spend all her time in the House attempting personally to resurrect the derangement of the Trump years. She tweeted on Monday evening that “Murkowski, Collins, and Romney are pro-pedophile.” And that led to a series of right-wing rabblerousers echoing and amplifying the risible accusation.

Meanwhile, on another front in the culture war, conservative muckraker Christopher Rufo has turned his defense of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ controversial “Parental Rights in Education” bill into a full-on demagogic crusade against the Walt Disney Company. Rufo’s campaign against a major employer in the state of Florida began as a vendetta against the company for its public statements opposing DeSantis’ bill. But now the battle has become, once again, about pedophilia, with Rufo tweeting repeatedly about the subject, including several in which he insinuates, without providing journalistic context of any kind, that Disney has a longstanding problem with hiring child-sex criminals.

And all the while, chiming in from the bleachers are an army of right-wing trolls, grifters, and jerk-whisperers slinging the scummy term “groomer” at everyone from real-life child molesters to teachers struggling in good faith to answer questions in the classroom about homosexuality to any conservative who believes in higher standards for public debate.

That’s the Trumpian circus in action — with Trump himself playing no role at all in provoking or directing it. One senator makes a lurid, unfounded allegation, and three weeks later, variations on it ricochet throughout the nation’s political culture, doing damage to those caught in the line of fire, diminishing and degrading the rest of us, and in the process helping to advance the cause of an ever-more shameless and radicalized right.

Donald Trump may well opt to run for president again in 2024. But his party hardly needs his help anymore. His fellow Republicans have amply demonstrated their ability to degrade American democracy all on their own.

[SIZE=7]Donald Trump ‘Truth’ Twitter Account Suspended as Liz Harrington Quits Site[/SIZE]
Giulia Carbonaro - 14h ag

A Twitter account that shared every message Donald Trump posted on Truth has been suspended, at the same time as the former president’s spokeswoman Liz Harrington made a dramatic exit from the platform.


Liz Harrington (Inset), Donald Trump’s spokeswoman, has called for people to quit Twitter and join Truth Social instead. In this picture Trump speaks during the American Freedom Tour at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas on May 14, 2022.

Meanwhile, the @PresTrumpTS, which shared each and every one of the messages Trump has been writing on Truth, has been suspended as of Tuesday, May 17.

The account—which had only been active since April—was “making sure President Trump is heard on Twitter while he and Devin Nunes focus on Truth Social.”

Trump’s life ban from Twitter was declared in 2021 after the January 6 attack on the Capitol, the platform’s management saying that some of the former president’s tweets had incited the violence.

The identity of the people managing the @PresTrumpTS account was never confirmed, but there’s been speculation that it was run by Trump’s team.

Some of the messages Trump wrote on Truth were already being shared on Twitter by Harrington, defying the platform’s rule that banned users shouldn’t circumvent restrictions by using other people’s profiles.

Third-party accounts would not be needed if a new Twitter management led by Elon Musk allowed Trump back on the platform, as statements by the billionaire have vaguely suggested might happen should he complete his purchase of Twitter.

But it would now appear that Trump’s team has a new strategy that involves abandoning the platform entirely.

In her message on Tuesday, Harrington invited people to ditch Twitter for Truth, which she claims is already available to everyone as its web application has just launched.

Amid Musk’s Twitter takeover drama, Truth has suddenly risen in popularity, after having been thwarted by technical difficulties since the app’s creation. Truth Social claimed the top spot on Apple’s free apps chart at the end of April, with more downloads than Twitter. So far, over 1.4 million have downloaded the app since its launch in February.

“Before April 23, Truth Social had not previously ranked since March 12,” Stephanie Chan, mobile insights strategist at Sensor Tower told publication The Wrap. “This was also the first time Truth Social has ranked at No.1 on the overall U.S. App Store since Feb 24 shortly after its launch.”

Newsweek has reached out to Donald Trump’s office and Liz Harrington for comment.

[SIZE=6]I spent a week on Trump’s new social media app Truth Social. I felt like I was exploring a ghost town.[/SIZE]
[li]I spent a week on Truth Social, Donald Trump’s new social media app. It was like a ghost town.[/li][li]Lots of prominent right-wingers, like Tucker Carlson and Ben Shapiro, weren’t anywhere to be seen.[/li][li]Much of the content in my news feed was auto-generated and many of the app’s functions didn’t work.[/li][/ul]


After being kicked off Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube early in 2021, former President Donald Trump pledged to launch his own social media platform. About 13 months later, on February 21, 2022, he did just that with the launch of Truth Social.
I downloaded the Truth Social app on launch day and created an account – only to be told I’d been put on a waitlist in spot number 157,120. Three weeks later, on March 14, I was finally allowed to use the app.
And I found…not very much. It was like a conservative ghost town that had been overrun by bots.
Trump Media & Technology Group, the company behind Truth Social, pitches its app as an alternative to the big social media platforms, which banned Trump for inciting violence during the US Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021.
The signs so far are that Truth Social is a flop.
Since it launched, downloads and time spent on the app have trended downwards. It has slumped from being the number one download on Apple’s US App Store to number 173, according to an analysis by Similarweb.
That’s partly down to the app’s lengthy waitlist, which keeps wannabe users locked out for weeks. But even when I got off the waitlist and into the app, followed the app’s most popular users, and scrolled through my feed, there still wasn’t much to see or do.

Here’s what I found.

Review: Trump’s Truth Social Is Like a Ghost Town Overrun by Bots (