Former President Donald Trump’s new social media platform TRUTH Social is expected to gain some popularity after its full launch early next year but it may spur infrastructure and content moderation issues that could jeopardize its success, experts told Sputnik.
Trump, who is the company chairman of the Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG) that created the platform, said the new social network will stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech and to serve as an alternative to liberal media.
“As soon as Donald Trump attaches his name to a platform what you’re suddenly talking about is a social media platform that is known around the world almost instantaneously, everyone is going to take an interest in it and that’s going to make it very difficult because of all the issues that arise from the infrastructure,” University of Florida social media professor Andrew Selepak said on Thursday.
Selepak stressed the difficulty of starting a social media company from scratch, pointing out Google’s failed attempt with Google Plus despite all the money and resources it had available.
“Creating one of these platforms is difficult and what Apple, Google and Amazon had an issue with was the content moderation,” Selepak said. “While algorithms and AI can play a role in content moderation, a lot of it requires literally humans to do that, having a tremendously large staff, which means you have to have the money, the profits and the capital to be able to hire that large staff.”
Former merchant banker and financial analyst Martin Hutchinson told Sputnik Trump has an extremely strong brand that he wants to maintain using the social media network, and although making some profit off the project would not hurt, it’s not the main objective.
“They better make sure that they control their net infrastructure, otherwise service providers will do their censorship for them, the worst of all worlds,” Hutchinson said. “Trump’s entry will gather lots of support, but it will be bedeviled by the censorship question.”
Hutchinson predicts that if TRUTH Social exerts tight censorship, it won’t take off, and if it allows every racist anti-Semite person to expound their views, the views so expounded will be used against them.
However, Hutchinson does not expect Trump to run for re-election and instead thinks it will be time for a new leader to lead the movement.
“I think Trumpism is here to stay, but will need a new leader by 2024,” Hutchinson said. “In an ideal world, a strong Trump social media presence will make money for Trump, burnish his image and support that new leader.”
POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN POLITICS
Trump needs to have a social media presence if he decides to run for re-election in 2024, Selepak said.
“I think it would be next to impossible to run a national campaign and be de-platformed from all the social media that people are going to turn to get information about your campaign, for you to be able to talk about your campaign, for you to be able to promote your campaign, to talk about the issues, and you could easily see where that would be a concern if any politician was running for some kind of state-wide or national office,” Selepak said.
University of California professor of politics Beau Grosscup agreed it will be important for Trump to establish a social media presence since he has either no or limited access on other platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
“He’s tried this before and failed, but maybe because there is institutional support it might give his prospects more of a chance,” Grosscup told Sputnik. “It’s clear that ruling class corporate media has turned against him for now.”
Grosscup said Trump’s consistent personality will make his social media network standout from other right wing media outlets.
TRUTH Social is available for Pre-Order in the Apple App store and there will be a Beta Launch for invited guests in November 2021. A nationwide rollout is expected in the first quarter of 2022 for those who sign up at www.truthsocial.com.
TMTG said it intends to launch a subscription video on demand service (TMTG+).
TMTG+ will also feature “non-woke” entertainment programming, news, and podcasts, according to the release.