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Trump’s “Truth Social” Site, Branded as Beacon of Free Speech, Is Banning Users

Persistent glitches on the site are causing experts to worry about the security of users’ personal information.

Icon for Truth Social, a social media network promoted in part by former President Donald Trump, on a cellphone screen following the app's launch on February 21, 2022.

Truth Social, the social media platform that former President Donald Trump promised would “stand up to Big Tech” after several websites banned his account, launched on Sunday — but users have already complained about long waitlists and glitches in the sign-up and registration process.

Truth Social looks a lot like Twitter, with tweets being labeled “truths,” and retweets being labeled “retruths.”

The app, which is so far only available to iPhone users, has been almost impossible to use since its launch. There is currently a waitlist of more than 300,000 users who have tried to sign up but can’t, and one site-wide outage lasted more than 13 hours. Users have also reported that they cannot access the site’s terms of service.

The site’s problematic rollout is leading some privacy experts to suggest that there may be more issues with the platform, particularly concerning the security of users’ personal data.

“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,” said privacy researcher Bill Fitzgerald to The Washington Post.

The site has also broken its promise to be a social media hub where users are free from censorship. Trump has repeatedly complained about being banned from platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube — yet Truth Social is already blocking users from creating parody accounts, a type of speech that is protected by the First Amendment.

Truth Social is banning accounts that take aim at former Republican Congressman Devin Nunes, who is now in charge of the site’s parent company, Trump Media & Technology Group. Matt Ortega, who manages the Twitter account @DevinNunesCow, attempted to parody Nunes on Truth Social, but was banned after signing up earlier this week.

“I may be the first officially ‘cancelled’ Truth Social user,” Ortega noted on Twitter.

Although Trump promised that Truth Social would be the standard-bearer of free speech and anti-censorship, Truth Social’s terms of service grant the site permission to ban “any person for any reason or for no reason” whatsoever.

Trump promised to create his own social media company after several sites banned him over his false and incendiary rhetoric following the attack on the U.S. Capitol building by a mob of his loyalists over a year ago. Trump is permanently banned from Twitter and is set to be allowed back on Facebook in January 2023.

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