Truth Social, the new social-media app from former president Donald Trump, launched on Apple's App Store on Sunday evening.
I downloaded the app Monday and tried to use it. It didn't quite go as planned.
I received a series of error messages as I tried to input my details and verify my email address in a bid to join the so-called "Truthsayers" of Truth Social.
But then I was told I'd been placed on a wait-list of around 157,000 other wannabe users, because there was "massive demand" for the app. "We love you, and you're not just another number to us," the message said.
Over the next hour, my position on the wait-list didn't change on the app. But 26 minutes after I signed up, Truth Social emailed me to tell me I'd moved up to about 77,000th on the wait-list.
Truth Social encountered technical difficulties shortly after launching to the public on Sunday evening, according to its official website.
After the app launched to beta testers last week, several users reportedly complained they were getting error messages similiar to the ones I did, or that they'd been placed on a wait-list.
Truth Social, from Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), is expected to mark the former president's return to social media after he was banned from Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube in the wake of the Capitol riots.
Truth Social, a new social media platform backed by former President Donald Trump, sat at the top of Apple’s free apps download charts as of Tuesday morning.
The platform unveiled a soft launch late Sunday, according to Reuters, with many users prompted to join a waitlist. Some who tried to sign up reported glitches when attempting to create an account, though such issues are common in early app releases.
Truth Social has been delayed several times. The full launch was first planned for Feb. 21, but that date has been pushed back to March 31.
The app is a product of the Trump Media & Technology Group, led by former Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. The company has planned to go public via merger with the Digital World Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition corporation, or SPAC, with a market cap of more than $3 billion. DWAC disclosed in December that two financial regulators had opened probes into communications with Trump’s firm prior to the deal announcement.
In December, DWAC and TMTG announced agreements to raise $1 billion from a group of investors. But those funds would not become available until the merger closes.
Shares of Digital World were up about 14% on Tuesday.
Trump created his Truth Social platform after being kicked off Twitter and Facebook and marketed the platform as a mecca for free speech. The application quickly rose to number one on Apple's App Store after its Monday launch, with thousands of people downloading it, but Peters claimed that Trump's social media platform isn't entirely "censorship-free."
Peters posted on Telegram on Tuesday that he was "already being censored on Truth Social." He included a screenshot of his account with a "sensitive content" warning that advised the content may not be suitable for all audiences. To see the post, users had to click "show content."
"Want to know what I said?" Peters wrote on Telegram. "I said, 'The people in our government responsible for allowing our kids to be killed with these dangerous COVID shots, should be put on trial and executed.'"
Peters has called for Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), to be executed, and he called COVID-19 vaccines a "military bioweapon." His comments got him kicked off Spotify, and Peters said that "free speech isn't free" while posting about Truth Social's alleged censorship.
While Trump's platform promised to be "censorship-free," the application still has to abide by Apple's content policies or risk being kicked off the marketplace. The app store prohibits "objectionable content," including content that "encourages violence."
The Truth Social rollout was marred by users receiving a series of error messages while trying to create an account, a long wait list and Peters isn't the only person to decry the platform for its censorship since the launch.
Matt Ortega, a self-described "serious internet clown," posted on Twitter on Tuesday that he may be the first "canceled" Truth Social user. Ortega posted a screenshot that announced his account was banned permanently because of "community guidelines violations."
He created an account with the username "DevinNunesCow," similar to a popular Twitter account that former Representative Devin Nunes is suing for defamation. Nunes left Congress and is currently Truth Social's CEO.
In January, Nunes told Fox Business that Truth Social was working to make sure the platform is "very family-friendly" and a "safe place" that barred "illegal content" from the site.
Kevin Guo, the CEO of Hive, a content moderation company, told Fox Business that posts that include violence, bullying, hate speech and spam would be blocked on the platform.
Jimmy Carter built houses with Habitat for Humanity. George W. Bush learned to paint. Barack Obama hung out with Bruce Springsteen. And Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States, created his own alternate online universe for the MAGA-loving, Big Tech-hating common man. After months of hype, the site was here — and it looked a lot like the thing it’s supposed to replace.
Inside Truth Social, everything once blue was now a bright, jewel-toned purple. Tweets, a.k.a. posts, were now “Truths.” Retweets were now “ReTruths,” capital T. And above my username, I saw the site’s default avatar: Twitter’s cream-colored egg icon, the image given to all new users, had apparently given birth to a proud purple eagle. The rest of the site appeared familiar: Replies were still replies. Likes were still likes. Direct messages, still in development, were still direct messages. And Donald Trump was still @realdonaldtrump — followed, as of this writing, by 140,000 people, a tiny fraction of his onetime total audience on Twitter. Only one Truth appeared on his page: “Get Ready! Your favorite President will see you soon!” he wrote two weeks ago, before the app’s launch. The Truth displayed 7,750 ReTruths, 30,500 likes and 4,700 replies. (Inexplicably, unlike replies on other user posts, none of the responses to Trump’s message were visible to me.)
In my inbox, an unsigned email welcomed me to “our Truth Seeking community.”
Most people are still awaiting entry to this purple-shaded landscape. Eleven days after its launch on Feb. 21, timed for the indistinct federal holiday that is President’s Day, I was welcomed to Donald Trump’s new online home after holding the 169,685th spot on the waitlist. (The line is hundreds of thousands of users long, according to other people waiting to get in.)
The site promises a safe space for “free expression,” encouraging of “all viewpoints,” according to the welcome email, “as we do not discriminate against political ideology.” But inside the app, digital tumbleweeds blew through my feed. The site is a bit slow, and a bit empty. Its stalled roll-out, led by Devin Nunes, the Trump supporter and former Republican congressman from California, has become a source of frustration and confusion in MAGA-world, according to my colleague Meridith McGraw. Republican lawmakers like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz and Kevin McCarthy already have accounts and appear to be posting similar or identical content to both Truth Social and Twitter, along with right-leaning platforms like Gettr and Parler. (Apparently, no one is quite ready to turn their backs on an actual audience yet.) But when they do finally get their welcome emails, the thousands of regular Trump fans still waiting in line, eager for their chance to search for truth, will find a Twitter knock-off with no immediately discernible improvement on the original — a vanity project that has yet to prove its utility.
Put simply, there isn’t much happening on the site.
After setting up my profile under my name, a list of suggested users appeared on the screen: Donald Trump held the number one spot, followed by pages for Truth Social, the NFL, USA Military News, the Daily Mail, Sean Hannity, Kyle Rittenhouse and an account for paranormal news and discussion.
Scrolling down, I saw ordinary users and trolls on the list: @creepyjeffbezos, @hypocritetrudeau, @fakehunterbiden (bio: “Celebrating Hunter Biden’s love for art, prostitutes, and laptops”).