Chaotic launch of Donald Trump’s social network (update)

Update February 22, 2022: Donald Trump launched his social network Truth Social on Sunday, February 20, shortly before midnight in the US App Store. The app quickly rose to the top of the most downloaded free apps, according to several media outlets, including Reuters. But the launch did not go smoothly. Many users could not create an account. On the Truth Social page in the App Store, comments indicate that users saw the message “Something went wrong, please try again” when trying to create an account. Others testify to having been in a queue.

The app’s update list shows that bugs were fixed on February 21st. Shortly before the launch of Truth Social, Devin Nunes, director of the Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), which publishes the social network, told Fox News that the platform will be launched gradually and fully operational in late March.

Update December 6, 2021: Donald Trump’s social network has raised $ 1 billion

In the development phase, Truth Social, Donald Trump’s social network, is expected to be launched publicly in early 2022. Meanwhile, its publisher Trump Media & Technology Group Corp. announced that it has entered into a financing agreement of up to 1 billion US dollars. The transaction will result in an IPO through a merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp. The two companies have entered into capital subscription agreements with an undisclosed group of institutional investors.

The former president of the United States created Truth Social to oppose Big Tech’s tyranny, in his own words quoted in the social network’s launch announcement. Shortly after this statement, committed members of the open source community observed that a preliminary version of the platform was based on the open source code of another alternative social network, Mastodon, but without respecting the terms of its license. Since then, the publisher has responded in compliance with the license terms, in this case by making the source code available via a download link available on the site.

Original news from October 26, 2021: Should Trump release the source code for his social network?

Donald Trump, who has been excluded from major social media, recently announced the launch of his own platform. This network is called Truth Social and is based on the code from another alternative social network, Mastodon, according to an analysis by the organization Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC).

The former president of the United States set up Truth Social, published by the Trump Media and Technology group, to oppose Big Tech’s tyranny, according to his own words quoted in the announcement of the launch of the social network. The consumer version is scheduled for early 2022. However, an early trial version appeared briefly online, reports SFC, which found that Truth Social’s code is based on the Mastodon software platform under the AGPLv3 open source license. However, if open source generally makes it possible to reuse the source code for free, this practice is done under certain conditions, which depend on the specifications of each license.

Terms of use not complied with

In the case of AGPLv3 in particular, it is necessary to allow each user to receive all the source code used. Also, according to the SFC, the trial version of Truth Social, now offline, was used by many people without giving them access to the code. The network is further released under proprietary copyright and fails to mention that it is under an open source license. The Trump Media and Technology group therefore violated several terms of the AGPLv3 license.

30 days to comply

“The Trump team should immediately make this matching source available to anyone who used the site today while it was online. If they do not do so within 30 days, their rights and permissions on the software will be automatically and permanently terminated,” the SFC points out. The Mastodon’s founder, for his part, has contacted a legal adviser to assess what action options exist at the legal level, according to a tweet from Drew Harwell, a journalist for the Washington Post.

Leave a Comment