Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Trump's Truth Social: "Something Went Wrong"


This week's launch of Truth Social, Donald Trump's new social media site, has been exactly what most people expected: an utter train wreck.

Trump has the patience of an overtired four-year-old. Last month, he expressed frustration at the slow pace of TS's development. Trump likely insisted that the app be put out there now, before it could be properly tested. Within a few hours after launch, people attempting to create accounts received error messages: "Something went wrong. Please try again."

Late Night host Seth Meyers was amused by how vague the message was: "'Something went wrong,' like even they don't know what the problem is. Usually you get an error code or something but Trump's site just gives you a shrug emoji that says, 'What you expecting, this thing is a clusterfuck.'"

Then, according to The Daily Beast, users trying to sign up "were told that the app was simply too popular for them to join it, with a warning that read: 'Due to massive demand, we have placed you on our waitlist.'"

The wait list grew to nearly 500,000 people, though some users reported their placement in line varied wildly each time they checked in, as though the placement spot was more of a random number generator than an actually place in line.

Jimmy Kimmel cracked: "Truth Social has been such a disappointment so far, Trump may have to rename it to "Don Jr'".

Bill Fitzgerald, a privacy researcher, on the "ineptitude of the rollout":
The basic thing they needed to actually get right, to get someone in the door, they couldn't get right. There is no better sign of a rushed implementation than the fact that you can't onboard anybody. So I'm hard-pressed to understand why anyone would trust that these people would keep their information safe.
On Tuesday, TS released a statement: "Due to the overwhelming demand at launch, we are currently rate-limited on onboarding new users to the platform. We are working to increase signup capacity for onboarding and will continue to update this status as capacity increases."

Alex Wagner of MSNBC, while mocking the entire enterprise (see video at top), drew special attention to the statement's business-speak: "It's painful news – painful news – for everybody looking to get on-boarded to the truth."

Truth Social has been "almost entirely inaccessible" for several days. Jenna Ellis, an incompetent member of Trump's legal team (the self-described Elite Strike Force which lost 62 court cases concerning 2020 election fraud) and who may have caught Covid from a Rudy fart, ridiculed Trump on Instagram:
Having tens of thousands of users unable to create accounts or log-in for several days is only the latest fuck-up to hit Trump's latest soon-to-fail business venture. Truth Social also learned – on its very first day – that it could face a lawsuit for stealing the logo of Trailar, a British green energy company. As Newsweek reported:
[U]pon its launch in the Apple app store, other social media users noticed that Truth Social's logo—a purple square with a white "T" and a turquoise square in the bottom right—is almost identical to that of a British green energy company, Trailar.

The Truth Social logo even has the left side of the "T" cut off in the exact same way as Trailar's, a company which fits solar mats on top of commercial vehicles across the globe, in order to save on fuel, CO2 emissions and maintenance costs.

In a statement to Newsweek, Trailer confirmed that it is now "seeking legal advice" to determine the best course of action after being made aware of the similarities between Truth Social's logo and its own logo.
Truth Social looks and functions exactly like Twitter, which might open TS to additional legal headaches. It has the exact same engagement icons as Twitter: a thought bubble for replies, a repeat symbol for retweets, and a heart for likes. There is one difference, though! Twitter's blue "verified" checkmarks are red at Truth Social. And its tweets are called "truths".

Truth Social's problems date back to at least October 2021, when Mastodon claimed TS was using its computer code, but claiming that the source code was the sole property of TS. That was a lie. According to Mastodon's founder Eugen Rochko:
Based on public reports, we understand that Truth Social used Mastodon's source code to develop its platform . . . Truth Social is required to make its complete source code available. . . . On Oct 26, we sent a formal letter to Truth Social's chief legal officer, requesting the source code to be made publicly available in compliance with the license. According to AGPLv3, after being notified by the copyright holder, Truth Social has 30 days to comply or the license may be permanently revoked.
I have not seen any follow-ups to that story, so the issue may have been rectified. Still, it's not a great beginning. Use computer code illegally, steal a logo . . .

Devin Nunes, the former member of Congress who is most famous for (this is absolutely true) attempting to sue a make-believe cow for $250 million, is the current CEO of Trump Media & Technology Group. He has zero experience in tech, but that's unlikely to cause any problems down the road. Nunes hopes (!) the TS app will be working properly by the end of March. 

Truth Social is also under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission over its merger with a Chinese holding company. (Chy-naa!) (Hey, remember when Trump claimed that if Biden was elected, every single American would be forced to learn Chinese? . . . How are your lessons coming along? . . . In truth, Trump (and his familyloves China.)

Trump has previously criticized the "wildly aggressive censorship" of other social media networks and promised that TS would mark an "end to censorship". However, TS's Terms of Service's list of "prohibited activities" and limitations on posting run to more than 1,200 words. Users can be banned for posting "false, inaccurate, or misleading" information or "obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, violent, harassing, libelous, slanderous, or otherwise objectionable" material. Users cannot "depict violence, threats of violence or criminal activity" or "advocate or incite, encourage, or threaten physical harm". Trump also forbids anyone from using the site for "any revenue-generating endeavor". Only Trump has the right to use TS as a grift to clean out the rubes' wallets.

Most importantly, saying anything bad about Donald Trump will get you banned. NPR's Bobby Allyn reported that the app's terms of service also state it is prohibited to "disparage" the backers of the site. 

Someone billing himself in all seriousness as an "America First White Christian Alpha Male, Purveyor of Dangerous Truth" is whining about being censored (despite having no clue what censorship actually is):
Melanie Trump, who recently put one of her hats up for auction and ended up buying it herself (#auctionfail), stated in October 2021 that she would not be using TS. She has decided to post her bullshit on Parler.

Truth Social is bound to fail because (a) everything Trump touches dies and (b) since it will be a MAGA echo chamber, there will be no ability to "own the libs" and whatnot. Users will get bored of being around only like-minded dolts. Anyone who has not been banned from Twitter will soon spend more time back on Twitter.

Before Truth Social hits the graveyard, though, it will have likely put millions of investor dollars in Trump's pocket, which is the sole reason he started the site in the first place. Everything is a grift.

No comments: