Donald Trump’s social media site Truth Social continues to have issues, and the former president is not happy about it.
According to reporting from The Daily Beast, Trump has been berating aides and others close to him about the social media app’s poor rollout — contradictory to the glowing praise he’s given the site in public comments over recent weeks.
At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) two weekends ago, Trump lauded the site, saying that “people are getting on and they’re loving the product.”
“It’s been an incredible success,” he added.
In reality, the social media site has faced a number of problems, ranging from glitches on the app itself to a waitlist in the hundreds of thousands. According to analytic measures, Truth Social is only garnering around 300,000 visits per day, an amount that is minuscule when compared to sites like Facebook and Twitter, which Trump said that he would compete with.
Trump’s profile on the site, @realDonaldTrump, has only amassed 140,000 followers as of Saturday, a derisory figure compared to the tens of millions that followed him on Twitter before he was banned from the site (although the veracity of half those users was questionable at best).
Sources told The Daily Beast that they’ve overheard Trump discussing the platform on the phone.
One person recalled hearing Trump ask, “What the fuck is going on?” on a phone call talking about Truth Social’s status. The former president, whose social media site is one of his most talked about ventures outside of his potential run for office in 2024, has also whined about negative media reports on the app, and has asked why more people aren’t using it (despite the fact that it’s not yet available on non-Apple products).
Critics have noted other issues with Truth Social. An analysis from Politico, for example, noted that there are a number of parody accounts on the site poking fun at left-wing voices. However, parody accounts that are critical of right-wing figures have already been banned.
Matt Ortega, who manages the parody Twitter account @DevinNunesCow, announced late last month that he’s already been blocked from accessing Trump’s social media app.
“I may be the first officially ‘cancelled’ Truth Social user,” Ortega said in response. (Former member of Congress Devin Nunes was placed in charge of Truth Social by Trump last year.)
For a site that purportedly prides itself on free expression, the banning of Ortega and other leftist voices is quite telling. Indeed, Truth Social’s terms of service don’t live up to Trump’s promise to promote free speech on the internet, as the site maintains the right to boot any person, for any reason at all.
Due to glitches during the first weeks of its launch, experts have cautioned people against signing up for Truth Social, saying that the site poses a number of security risks.
The “ineptitude of the rollout” is troublesome, and should cause potential users to think twice before joining the site, said Bill Fitzgerald, a privacy researcher who spoke to The Washington Post on the matter last month.
“There is no better sign of a rushed implementation than the fact that you can’t onboard anybody,” Fitzgerald said. “So I’m hard-pressed to understand why anyone would trust that these people would keep their information safe.”