Monica is a political science student and a writer on Medium.
In America, we are currently fighting a war for and against truth. Facts are now nothing but a mere inconvenience if they don’t align with one’s agenda. In 2016, we were introduced to the term “alternative facts” by Kellyanne Conway, senior aide to President Donald J. Trump, while defending then-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s bogus claim that Mr. Trump had received the largest crowd in history at his inauguration.
This silly lie could be easily debunked, but that didn’t matter. The claim had been made and as it drew national attention and put the brazenness of the Trump Administration on display, many people heard what they wanted to hear and they believed and repeated the lie, despite all the glaring evidence to the contrary.
Donald Trump’s presidency tried our relationship with truth and lies. For four years, Trump told 30,573 lies about anything and everything you can imagine. All politicians lie, but this is a dizzying amount of dishonesty by the most powerful man in the land.
Most of his narratives simply didn’t line up with any semblance of accuracy. But truth would not stop a man who in 2021, without a shred of evidence, incited a violent insurrection in an attempt to overturn the results of a free and fair democratic election.
It was that violent insurrection on January 6, 2021, which Trump failed to speak on for three hours during the fiasco, that ultimately got the President permanently suspended from Twitter and a number of other social media websites.
In losing Twitter, Trump is without his bullhorn. He would tweet falsehoods and in seconds, the post would spread around the Internet like wildfire. He could instantly and effortlessly get his message out to an adoring crowd who never second-guessed anything he said or did.
Today, when Mr. Trump has something to say, he sends out statements that get picked up by the press and only get a fraction of the coverage his tweets received. He’s argued fervently that his First Amendment rights were being attacked and that he was being unjustly censored by Big Tech.
He and his son, Donald Trump Jr., called out “cancel culture” as the root of all evil. Out of his anger and frustration, Truth Social was born.
Truth Social is President Trump’s attempt at a Twitter-like social media platform that he hopes will give the other social media sites serious competition. He vowed in his indignation that Truth Social would turn the social media world upside down. The app was launched in late February to little fanfare. So far, Trump’s brainchild has failed to cause the upheaval of which he’d warned.
The Trump Media & Technology Group, which is the parent company of Truth Social, is run by CEO Devin Nunes. Many will remember Nunes as the Republican congressman turned Trump sycophant from California. Truth Social borrows heavily from Twitter. Tweets are replaced with Truths and Retweets are called ReTruths.
There doesn’t seem to be much difference between Truth Social and Twitter, except you can’t find Donald Trump on Twitter. For some people, that’s enough to make the switch.
Truth Social appeared on the App Store with high hopes in the MAGA ("Make America Great Again") world and quickly stole first place for free apps on the Apple store. Just a few weeks later, Truth Social is not even in the top 200 list of free apps in the App Store. CEO Nunes claims that despite its lackluster arrival, Truth Social would be up and running by the end of March.
Skeptical of Trump’s intentions, I wanted to experience Truth Social for myself. I downloaded the app for scientific purposes. Like most social media platforms, it required my email address and my phone number. I’m not looking to go into this app and raise hell or fight with Republicans about Trump. I wanted to be as unremarkable as possible. I’m only going on this site to observe and learn.
I want to know why the most dishonest President we’ve had to date would start a social media platform called Truth Social. Hasn’t he made a mockery of truth enough? I want to see why people are joining and what they are sharing. I want to know if people will be radicalized on this platform.
I need to know if propaganda will be widespread. Will the former President use this platform to subvert or endanger democracy? I want to know if truth will ultimately prevail on Truth Social.
To be continued...
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2022 Monica Leigh French