So, yesterday I broke down and became a subscriber to Truth Social. I had tried to get on the website when it first went up, but it wasn’t working at all. This time I created a username, added a password, and got right on.
What was the first thing I saw? An ad for a website selling food supplements and when I clicked the link, here’s the message I got:” Microsoft recommends you don’t continue to this site. It has been reported to Microsoft for containing misleading content that could lead you to lose personal info, financial data and even money.”
Oh well. Here’s Big Tech imposing its censorship again. How could any right-thinking American object to a website which is nothing but a financial scam? Since when are financial scams not allowed under the Constitutional doctrine of free speech?
Talking about speech, after you sign into the website, you can choose which accounts you want to follow whenever the account holder puts up new content. It’s a small mélange of alt-right blowhards – Hannity and others like that. But the list also includes Gavin Newsom, the Governor of California, who happens to be a favorite target of Trump.
The site’s only ad, some kind of phony food supplement, happens to be the same type of product which was advertised by Rush Limbaugh on his radio show. I listened to Limbaugh for years and I never once heard an advertisement for a nationally known product or brand. Companies that made cars, appliances, soft drinks, and other standard consumer items wouldn’t connect themselves with someone as controversial as Rush.
How Rush made his money was by selling time on his show to local advertisers who listeners in any listening area knew and could trust. But you can’t do that on a website as easily or quickly as you can stream such messaging on radio or TV. So, Truth Social is kind of stuck appealing to a certain type of audience but meanwhile I don’t see any ads.
The bigger problem with this website is the content is almost entirely about Trump. Virtually every posting is a narrative about the election ‘fraud,’ or how the borders aren’t secure, or how things are going to Hell in a handbasket with Joe. But what makes Facebook and Twitter so popular is the degree to which the content is created by people talking about themselves. Or they’ll post a funny video about their cat or show a picture of a meal they ate in a restaurant last night.
In other words, what you get from the popular social media sites is interactions between users who are both contributors and watchers at the same time.
You don’t get these kinds of connections on Truth Social at all. The website may have the format of social media, but it’s not social media. It’s digital media with the ‘social’ left out.
In other words, it’s boring in the same way that Trump becomes boring after you’ve heard him talk at his rallies more than once or twice. The first time you hear him call someone a ‘bum’ or a ‘creep’ it’s somewhat shocking so it’s fun. The second time you’ve heard it before and by the third time you’ll eat a hot dog, think about buying a t-shirt for a friend back at home, then walk away from the fairgrounds or the airport hangar while Trump is still ranting on.
If anything, the content on Truth Social is almost exactly like the content that we used to see on Trump’s Facebook page before he was booted off. But at least back then he was President of the United States which gave everything he said or did a degree of importance which he no longer has.
Back in August, Axios ran a detailed story about how Truth Social was not only failing to generate any revenue, but was having problems putting together the financing needed to keep the company afloat.
It’s now mid-October and none of the issues which Axios discussed in August have been resolved. In fact, deadlines for coming up with re-financing are looming shortly ahead.
But somewhere, somehow money can always be found. The real problem is how uninterested I became after spending less than five minutes on the site. You don’t fix that kind of an issue just because someone comes up with a few bucks.