Photo-Illustration: Intelligencer; Photos: Getty Images/Screenshot
Twitter reject Donald Trump launching his own social-media site where “tweets” are called “truths” is inherently hilarious. But Truth Social is really outdoing itself in its apparent quest to make its name as ironic as possible.
Truth Social is billed as a bastion of free speech where users can speak their minds and read the musings of people who have been “canceled” by Twitter and other social-media companies (like, most importantly, Trump himself). Devin Nunes, who resigned from Congress to be CEO of the Trump Media & Technology Group, explained on Fox News earlier this year, “Our main goal here is to give people their voice back … 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.”
But nearly two months after its launch on Apple’s App Store, few are able to express or learn any “truths” on the Twitter clone. Trump himself has only posted once. Most people simply can’t access Truth Social, as it’s not available on the Google Play Store and there is no desktop version. Many iPhone users who did manage to create an account were put on a wait list that doesn’t appear to be moving (Truth Social said I was number 1,385,001 on March 24, and today I’m still number 1,385,001).
Now Axios has uncovered another layer of falsehood in this crumbling, Trumpy cake: Some of the major brands on Truth Social aren’t on the platform at all. On Tuesday, an Axios reporter tweeted that Fox News had a verified account on Truth Social. Nunes also touted the network’s arrival in a now deleted message, writing, “Great to have RSS feed for @FoxNews now LIVE here on TRUTH! This adds to @OAN and @NewsMax.”
The news made shares of Digital Word Acquisition Corp, the SPAC that is helping the app go public, spike. But Fox News quickly corrected the record: A spokesperson told Axios, “We are not on Truth Social.”
It seems Trump’s app has been trying to cultivate an air of legitimacy by creating pages for various media and sports brands, including @NFL, @FoxSports, and @ESPN. Though these accounts appear real, with official-looking names and logos, none were set up by the brands themselves. “There are ‘BOT’ labels on those accounts, which may suggest the Truth Social accounts are reposting content those brands have published on other social media sites,” Axios explains. While eagle-eyed “Truth Sayers” may have caught that Nunes was merely celebrating the RSS feed for Fox News, the account did not feature the “BOT” disclaimer.
This raises some concerning and surprisingly philosophical questions. Is it possible that I’m already on Truth Social, but I just don’t know it yet? Is my BOT account liking “truths” spouted by Nick Fuentes, the actually verified Truth Social user and notorious white nationalist? If a BOT account posts on Truth Social and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?