Even after a chaotic launch beset with errors and public relations disasters, Donald Trump’s new “free speech” social media platform Truth Social appears to be providing a major financial boost for its backers.
According to Reuters, shares in the platform’s main acquisition company, Digital World Acquisition Corp, have risen by a striking 14 per cent on the back of the app’s 170,000-odd downloads. The company’s share price has hit levels not seen since last October.
However, it remains to be seen whether the app will be successful enough to attract a large and loyal user base and build a genuine community of users – many of whom will have to be lured away from traditional social media as well as popular conservative-friendly platforms like Parler and Gettr.
There are also concerns about whether the app itself will be up to scratch. The “launch” was in fact not a full-on launch, but principally an opportunity for users of Apple’s App Store to download Truth Social and register profiles for the app’s bona fide arrival.
Among the many problems on the day were myriad error messages, complaints from users who had ended up on an ever-growing waitlist, and ill-informed Trump fans downloading superficially similar apps in the Android store that bombarded them with ads and possibly malware.
Truth Social also faces the risk of legal action from a British sustainable transportation company whose logo bears a striking resemblance to the new network’s.
This all follows a torrid few months building up to the app’s launch, a phase that has seen its funding investigated by federal regulators while its “free speech” pitch was undercut by news that it will be deploying artificial intelligence technology to remove undesirable content. It already appears to have deleted a profile satirising its CEO, former Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.
Additional reporting by Reuters
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