There is no doubt that social media played a massive role in Donald Trump’s presidency, from his 2016 campaign’s savvy use of Big Tech platforms to the subsequent crackdown on conservative content during his presidency; from the ubiquitous “mean tweets” that had the power to redirect the news cycle for a full week to his ultimate, unprecedented permanent bans from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube toward the end of his term in office.
Since leaving Washington, former President Donald Trump has been limited to press releases whenever he’s in the mood to comment on current events, but, true to form for the real estate tycoon, media mogul and political upstart, he has now simply built his own platform.
For months, Trump’s camp has been teasing the release of Truth Social, the MAGA movement’s answer to the blatantly biased, corrupt and censorial Silicon Valley.
The platform dropped on Sunday to emphatic fanfare — that is, it was met with such a high volume of traffic that it shot up to the number one spot on Apple’s App Store. Hundreds of thousands of users have been placed on a waitlist, as CNET reported.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 21, 2022
Yours truly attempted to create an account shortly before penning this story. I was told I was number 227,545 in line to get set up on the app.
It appears that Truth Social anticipated the influx; former California GOP Congressman Devin Nunes, who resigned from office to head up the Trump Media & Technology Group, told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo that they anticipate the app will be fully online by the end of next month.
“This week we will begin to roll out on the Apple App Store. That’s going to be awesome because we’re going to get so many more people that are going to be on the platform,” he told Sunday Morning Futures at the 8-minute mark in the interview.
“Our goal is, I think we’re going to hit it, I think by the end of March we’re going to be fully operational at least within the United States,” Nunes explained.
“We’re doing something that is really … just such a great opportunity for President Trump, for me, for our whole team that’s working at TMTG around the clock, especially as you see the excitement of people who have been booted from social media for the last two or three years,” he also said.
Under the handle @realDonaldTrump, the former president told users to “Get Ready! Your favorite President will see you soon!”
“TRUTH Social will fight back against Big Tech so we can protect our rights to free expression,” Trump explained in a press release earlier this month.
This goal was echoed by Nunes on Sunday, who told Bartiromo that they aspire to do “the opposite of some Silicon Valley tech oligarch freak telling people what they want to think and deciding who can or cannot be on the platform.”
Clearly, the scramble to find a spot on a social media platform not only dedicated to free speech, but established by a man who is regarded by many as the poster boy for the kinds of voices that Big Tech seeks to silence, speaks volumes about just how enthusiastic Americans are about leaving censorial Silicon Valley behind.
Big Tech thought they’d squashed Trump for good in January 2021, but it appears that this has only galvanized his base.
What Trump’s antagonists have never seemed to understand is that their unrelenting, vehement attacks on his words and actions always landed on the regular, everyday Americans that his messaging resonated with.
From Hillary Clinton’s accusations that Trump supporters were “deplorable” to the characterization of everyone who questioned whether the 2020 election was legitimate as “domestic terrorists,” the establishment has, by trying to tear down Trump, torn down the façade that they’re anything but power-hungry elitists who want to control what people say, think and do.
But as Trump explained in an October press release announcing Truth Social, this simply isn’t who Americans are.
“America has always been a nation of smart, spirited, and independent people who take pride in thinking for themselves. We admire those who aren’t afraid to speak their minds, or go against the tide. Yet suddenly, we find ourselves being censored and dictated to by a small group of self-righteous scolds and self-appointed arbiters of what everyone else is allowed to think, say, share, and do,” the former President stated.
“Nowhere is this censorship more dangerous and brazen than on social media, the public square of our times,” he said. “The corruption of these platforms cannot be ignored. We have fallen far down the ‘slippery slope’ of censorship in our country, and the topics that Americans are increasingly forbidden to debate are among the most important issues of our day.”
With every attempt to silence conservatives, patriots and free-thinkers, the elite has only managed to make us louder.
Do we finally have a platform where our voices can be heard?
If so, it makes sense that Trump was the man to create such an online space.