“We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced,” he said. “This is unacceptable.”
The site was briefly accessible to the public on Wednesday night, allowing people to create accounts and claim usernames. One account under the handle “donaldjtrump” posted a photo of a pig defecating.
After he lost his online platform this spring, Trump launched a blog called “From the Desk of Donald Trump.” But as The Washington Post and others reported, the site had low readership.
The blog shuttered after 29 days amid reports that Trump was upset by media coverage about its small audience.
Trump has been planning the launch of a platform like Truth Social for months. His advisers previously told The Post that the former president feared the blog’s underwhelming launch could cast doubt on the social media platform he wanted to create.
Trump’s political rise was built off his large Twitter following, and his presidency was marked by his frequent use of Twitter to bash critics and announce policy changes. Trump’s tweets were so widely watched that an apparent typo, “covfefe,” became a meme.
Trump Media and Technology Group also announced that it intends to launch a streaming service that features “‘non-woke’ entertainment programming, news, podcasts, and more.”
The new Trump company said it was merging with Nasdaq-listed Digital World Acquisition Corp., a blank-check company created to buy another business. The merger valued Trump Media and Technology Group, which will be listed on the stock exchange, at “an initial enterprise value of $875 million,” the statement said.
This month, Trump filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to force Twitter to reinstate his account. The suit alleged that Twitter was “censoring” Trump, adding that the platform “exercises a degree of power and control over political discourse in this country that is immeasurable, historically unprecedented, and profoundly dangerous to open democratic debate.”
There have been other social networks created to attract conservative users, but they have not gained the traction that more mainstream platforms have.
Jason Miller, a former adviser to Trump, launched Gettr, which describes itself as a “free speech social media platform.”
Miller said in a statement: “Congratulations to President Trump for re-entering the social media fray! … Now Facebook and Twitter will lose even more market share.”
The platform Parler became briefly popular after Trump was booted from Facebook and Twitter, but the network went dark for weeks after Amazon pulled its cloud support for it over concerns that it was not doing enough to moderate incitements to violence. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
“I’m excited to soon begin sharing my thoughts on TRUTH Social and to fight back against Big Tech,” Trump said. “Everyone asks me why doesn’t someone stand up to Big Tech? Well, we will be soon!”
The network is set to launch in beta form in November and be available in full next year. A release date for the streaming service was not provided.
Drew Harwell contributed to this report.