Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced the pending launch of a new social network called Truth Social whose stated goal is to “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech,” according to a press release purported to come from one of his companies.
The Trump Media and Technology Group, which made the announcement, said the social network will begin a limited beta launch in November, with a wider rollout expected in the first quarter of 2022. TMTG has agreed to merge with Digital World Acquisition Group, a Miami-based company listed on Nasdaq, to form a new company chaired by Trump, according to the press release.
“I created Truth Social and TMGT to stand to the tyranny of Big Tech,” Trump said in the press release sent to the media. “We live in a world where the Taliban has a presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American president has been silenced.
“I’m excited to soon be sharing my thoughts on Truth Social and to fight back against Big Tech,” Trump said.
In March, Jason Miller, a senior adviser to Trump, told Fox News that the former president would return with his own social media platform in “two or three months.” Trump did start his own official blog in May, but he shut it down one month later. Trump has been banned by both Twitter and Facebook since the deadly US Capitol Hill riot in January.
Trump’s use of Twitter redefined politics, letting him sidestep mainstream media to try to take hold of the political narrative. His account had 88 million followers, and his reach has been significantly reduced since the ban.
The former president sued those platforms alongside Twitter, alleging censorship and First Amendment violations, even though the First Amendment applies to the government, not to private companies like social media sites. Trump has for some time claimed without evidence that the companies discriminate against the right, a charge the firms have repeatedly denied.
Throughout his presidency, Trump had a contentious relationship with social media giants, complaining that social media sites demonstrate a bias against conservative voices. In 2018, he accused Twitter of shadow banning conservatives. Twitter said it was a bug. Shadow banning refers to the practice of making a comment or post visible only to the user who created it.
But Trump hasn’t forsaken Twitter. Earlier this month, the former president asked a US district judge to grant a preliminary injunction that wouldwhile his lawsuit against Twitter wends its way through the courts.
Digital World Acquisition Group and a representative for Trump didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.