Former President Donald Trump has recently announced his new social media network, called Truth Social. The social media platform is reported to be Trump’s response to what he has called “censorship” against him, but it is clear what this new project actually is, a desperate attempt to remain in the spotlight by a former president who is banned from everything online. His history on social media is minimal compared to the spectacular failure that Truth Social will be.
To measure this, it is important to look at what will ultimately be the cautionary tale of Truth Social: Parler. As reported by the Associated Press, Parler lost its web-hosting service early 2021 and was removed from the app store and Google Play store. This came after the 2021 insurrection attempt at the Capitol. The major tech companies cited Parler’s lack of enforcement towards content that intended to “incite ongoing violence in the U.S.”
This was a legitimate concern but also came off as hypocritical since various groups and people who incite violence overseas such as ISIS and Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel are not entirely banned off of Twitter. Even though Twitter seemingly has authority to ban these accounts off of their platform, and they should, they seem to prioritize accounts that spread hate and violence here in the U.S. This does not excuse them from having a perceived preference in enforcing their rules but it does provide some context.
The ultimate problem that Truth Social will have, like Parler, is that it will foster these communities that promote violence and domestic terrorism in the U.S. Many people on Parler moved there because they were banned from Twitter. Although this is not true for all Parler users, many right-wing organizations and individuals were banned for engaging in organized political violence or posting messages that would incite people to political violence.
These forums that stand ideologically against censorship of conservatism will always be faced with the challenge of eventually having to censor their own groups. If a social media company allows hate speech and violent rhetoric simply as a reaction to tough terms and conditions from other companies, they will fail. The insurrection attempt has made sure that everyone sees very clearly what happens when misinformation and hate speech are allowed to permeate throughout media.
I believe that Truth Social will be a similar story, complete with every ugly chapter of hate speech, threats and maybe even domestic terrorism. The ending will be the same though: it will be another sputter in the dying engine of Trumpism.