Trump’s New Social Media Platform Won’t Let You Hurt His Feelings
TRUTH Social’s Terms of Service want you to sign away your rights to trash-talk and sue
I don’t care about Former President Donald J. Trump’s new social media platform TRUTH Social. It’s built on a false premise: that you can build a social media network and people will come.
Some will, especially like-minded Trump fans, but most will not, meaning TRUTH Social won’t be any more vibrant and varied than Parler (Trump’s former go-to platform now threatened by TRUTH Social). It’ll be further hobbled by its invite-only status and long lead time between Wednesday’s announcement and full launch in 2022. There could be a case made for massive FOMO as the site beta launches next month and stands as a tiny platform for, mainly, Trump’s daily social media missives (currently delivered as press releases). I doubt it.
Despite my lack of interest in ever joining TRUTH Social, I was curious enough to visit the launch site and then click the link to peruse the Terms of Service (TOS) — and they are remarkable.
In some ways, they’re relatively standard, setting down the rules and bylaws for using the site. (They were apparently crafted in September for the T Media Tech web site, which I guess is the official parent for TRUTH Social. Trump and Co. announced the site as part of an $875M merger between Trump Media and Technology Group and Digital World Acquisition.) However, there’s a big red flag at the top that, in ALL CAPS, urges you to read Sections 17 and 18 carefully “as they contain a binding arbitration agreement and a class action waiver, which may affect your legal rights.”
That information sets the tone for significant portions of the TOS, which seemed designed primarily to shield the platform and its owners (Trump and Co.) from criticism and any litigation arising from the use of TRUTH Social.
As instructed, I started quickly scrolling down to Sections 17 and 18, but on my way, I stumbled on a series of rules about what, “As a user of the site, you agree not to” do.
People who use the site agree not to “disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the Site.”