After months of waiting, I finally received an email letting me know that my profile was ready on Truth Social. In case you didn’t read Part 1 of my article, Truth Social is the social media equivalent of Twitter and the brainchild of disgraced ex-Twitter user and former President Donald J. Trump. I highly encourage you to go back and read Part 1 before you venture forward.
I was initially told by Truth Social that they were bombarded by users wanting to join during the initial rollout and that’s why there was a waiting list. I was given the number 1,212,8272:
But unfortunately for Mr. Trump, if he was trying to surpass Twitter as the top social media app, he has failed miserably. It is reported that Truth Social has about 500,000 daily users, whereas Twitter pulls in about 215 million, making it the 355th most popular app in Apple’s App Store.
It’s not hard to understand why Truth Social is declining. It’s modeled exactly like Twitter. Tweets are replaced by “Truths.” Retweets are now called “ReTruths.” There is no originality or perks that would make a Twitter user think they would have a better social media experience on Truth Social.
Except, there is one thing on Truth Social that you cannot find on Twitter: Donald J. Trump. Let’s face the facts: this app was created to follow and worship the former President, as he was banned from Twitter due to the events that unfolded during the Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021.
Truth Social is Trump’s echo chamber for his crazy “Truths” that we used to see on Twitter. When I first got onto the app, I realized that he wasn’t posting very much. How uncharacteristic for the former President who announced policy changes and fired his staff over Twitter.
Over the past few weeks, that has changed, and he’s back to “truthing” at his 3.17 million followers multiple times a day. He brags about his crowd sizes, he “retruths” favorable memes, he takes shots at his enemies, and he endorses his allies. Indeed, all of Trump’s greatest hits can be found on Truth Social.
When I first opened Truth Social after access was finally granted, I decided to look for some people to follow. I found the usual cast of right-wing characters including Don Jr., Eric Trump, Dinesh D’Souza, Mike Lindell (My Pillow Guy), and disgraced former Trump lawyer, Rudy Guiliani.
They use their platforms to lament about the 2020 Election, insult President Joe Biden, push right-wing candidates, and spread wild conspiracy theories. Some lawmakers have even joined, such as Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, Representative Steve Scalise, Rep. Jim Jordan, and Rep. Greg Steube. I was surprised, as I thought for certain there would be more of his Congressional followers supporting his social media endeavor.
Surprisingly enough, I also found California Governor Gavin Newsome on Truth Social. I applaud him for making an account because he’s likely trying to reach out to the other side with the truth. He may not get a lot of people to agree with him, but if he changes one mind with facts, it’s a worthwhile endeavor.
The other Truth Social users are just like Twitter users. They range from conservative to liberal and they love to argue. I tried to check my bias at the door when I started exploring Truth Social because I want to write a thorough and balanced analysis of what it is and what purpose it serves.
I tried to keep my bio incontrovertible and friendly, as I truly was not intending to incite arguments. My handle is simply @Frenchie3. My bio reads:
Student. Writer on Medium. Gaming nerd on YouTube. Believer in freedom of speech. Pink Floyd fanatic.
The first thing I noticed was there were a lot of conspiracy theories being pushed concerning many different issues: Covid-19, the war in Ukraine, the 2020 Election, voter fraud, the January 6, 2021 insurrection, and various accusations against President Joe Biden.
There was quite a lot of support for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been waging an unprovoked war in Ukraine. As you can see in the photo above, they accused Ukraine of being the “money laundering and child sex trafficking capital of the world,” and that Putin was justified in his actions against this sovereign country.
And if you didn’t know before, everything that they don’t like is a plot to support SOCIALISM! Wake up! But on a more serious note, the right-leaning users on this platform are constantly calling the Democrats socialists and communists and every part of their agenda is part of a huge plot to introduce America to socialism.
Truth Social is also rife with Covid-19 misinformation and people who call the vaccine unsafe, despite all the evidence to the contrary. There’s an account that follows me called the AFLDS.org FanPage. I looked up AFLDS and it’s an organization called America’s Frontline Doctors.
According to TIME Magazine, America’s Frontline Doctors pushed spurious Covid-19 treatments, including the drug Ivermectin, which is commonly used as a remedy for parasitic worms in livestock. They were charging people to make appointments with them to get some of the medications that were shown not to be helpful with Covid, such as Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. One of their “Truths” shows their disavowal of mainstream Covid regimens.
I attempted to have conversations with a few people about the Covid vaccines, but the discussions quickly spiraled into fantasyland. I was told that I was full of magnets, that I was a sheep, and that the vaccines were affecting my brain capacity. This is no different than conversations I’ve had on Twitter about Covid. The political conspiracy theories seem to run rampant on both apps.
The biggest conspiracy theory pushed on Truth Social is the “Big Lie” that Donald Trump actually won the 2020 Election due to mass voter fraud and Democratic cheating. These claims have been debunked and proven false time and time again. But it’s extremely harmful to have the former President who still hasn’t conceded the 2020 election continue to trumpet his lies about what actually happened.
What’s even more alarming is that he continues to use his social media profile as a bully pulpit to retaliate toward his opponents and even to intimidate people, such as Cassidy Hutchinson, the star witness of the January 6th investigation hearings. He did these things on Twitter as the acting President of the United States. I don’t know why I would expect anything different from him now.
Because of Trump’s lies and narcissistic personality, which makes him unable to admit defeat, despite all the evidence to the contrary, millions of his supporters now definitively believe that the 2020 Election was stolen. Facts are little but inconveniences in the Trump era and Truth Social is an echo chamber for the far right.
One of the biggest pieces of propaganda being pushed on Truth Social is Dinesh D’Souza’s new documentary on the 2020 Election called 2000 Mules. Although it has been fact-checked and debunked, this movie has certainly made a splash. Trump supporters are now using this documentary as proof of a stolen election.
The main theory in the movie is that “2000 mules” or “2000 Democratic political operatives” were sent to deliver “fraudulent and illegal votes” to mail-in drop boxes in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Georgia. They claimed to have used cell phone geolocation data and surveillance video of mail-in drop boxes in these swing states to prove that the Democrats cheated in 2020.
I cannot tell you the number of people who referred to this movie when I patiently asked them for evidence to back up their claims of a stolen election. Perhaps I will watch the movie and give a review of it but being that it’s already been called out as nonsense, I may just be wasting my time. It might be worth noting that Dinesh D’Souza received a pardon from Donald Trump for his felony conviction of making illegal campaign contributions. He’s hardly an unbiased actor in the right’s narrative of the 2020 Election.
Aside from all of the conspiracy theories, the most prominent aspect of the app was the pure hate on display from both sides of the aisle. This is also prevalent on Twitter, so it wasn’t surprising at all to see it manifest on Truth Social.
I think that conservatives were expecting to have the social media site to themselves, but of course, many liberals couldn’t resist making their accounts and trolling the right. I thought this platform would be overrun by Trump-loving conservatives, but I would estimate that there are about the same number of liberal users as well. I made an account on Truth Social to do research. I wanted to see how a Trump-run social media platform would fare. I also wanted to see how far down the rabbit hole its users would go. The answer is FAR!
I also wanted to create an open dialogue between myself and some Trump supporters because I think it’s what we all need to do to try to repair this broken nation. Since Trump came onto the political scene, I have found myself feeling passionate dislike, almost mirroring hatred, toward people that support him — people that I don’t even know.
I’ve gotten extremely angry, wondering how anyone with a brain could support this dangerous, narcissistic, selfish, dishonest, delusional man-child for arguably the most important job in the world. It’s really hard for me to see the person behind the MAGA hat some days.
I was hoping that Truth Social would provide me with an opportunity to talk to Trump supporters in a kind and understanding matter. But everyone shows up on that app in a defensive stance. No one is there to learn anything or listen to anything that doesn’t already line up with their narrative. Is this much different from Twitter? Not really.
But at least Twitter is trying to police misinformation. It spreads on Truth Social like wildfire. They don’t seem to feel any responsibility for the lies that get pushed on their platform. I could see how someone could be radicalized if they’re only using this app for social media.
I’ve come to realize that social media probably isn’t the place to be having a meaningful discussion. It can be. But you need at least two willing parties for that to occur. The takeaways from my experiment are that mending the partisan divide will need to happen off of social media, slowly but surely, one person at a time. We can do it. We just need to commit to civility and the preservation of democracy. My other conclusion is this: at least Trump’s bully pulpit is a fraction of what it once was!
About the Creator
Student. Writer at www.medium.com/@MonicaLeighFrench. I’m mostly inspired by writing about personal experiences, politics, addiction, and mental health issues. Pink Floyd fanatic. Twitter: @french_monica.