advertisement
advertisement

Truth Social, Trump’s new social media site, has a few TOS issues

Classic Trump move?

Truth Social, Trump’s new social media site, has a few TOS issues
[Source Images: oleksii arseniuk/iStock; public domain]

The paint’s still figuratively wet on Truth Social, Donald Trump’s new social network that he announced last night as a way to “fight back against the ‘Big Tech’ companies of Silicon Valley.” But the site already appears to be having a litany of problems.

advertisement
advertisement

For example, supposedly the site doesn’t launch until the first quarter of 2022, but last night, hackers discovered a beta version on which they proceeded to register both “donaldtrump” and “mikepence,” two usernames the site happily granted them.

advertisement
advertisement

And yet, somehow, this is probably not Truth Social’s biggest headache so far. The entire site may be violating the terms of use for the very software it’s built on. Last night, a crowd on Twitter started noticing that the Truth Social website used a particular social-networking software, known as Mastodon. It’s open source, meaning users can modify the underlying code as long as they abide by Mastodon’s licensing agreement.

Truth Social used Mastodon’s open-source code liberally, but, in what some may be tempted to call a classic Trump move, it seems not to have made the code publicly available or provided users with a copy of the general product license—two violations of Mastodon’s terms of use.

Mastodon’s founder, Eugen Rochko, told TPM that Truth Social is in apparent violation of its terms of use. He intends “to seek legal counsel on the situation,” he added, but wouldn’t get more specific, other than to note compliance with Mastodon’s AGPLv3 license “is very important to me,” because it’s “the sole basis upon which I and other developers are willing to give away years of work for free.”

advertisement

Ironically, Truth Social is getting tons of flak for its own terms of use. It bans “excessive use of capital letters” (a potential handicap for its owner), and any type of content that could “disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the Site.” If in Trump’s eyes the object of Truth Social is to “rival” Big Tech companies, perhaps he’s decided to begin by mimicking their shady business practices?

advertisement
advertisement
advertisement