Following former President Donald Trump’s announcement on Wednesday of ambitions to start a new social networking site dubbed “TRUTH Social,” the site’s terms of service were instantly questioned. TRUTH Social’s terms of service stipulate that members may not “disparage, tarnish, or otherwise hurt, in our judgment, us and/or the Website,” while presenting itself as a network that will “provide a voice to everybody,” as per a news release. In other terms, any member who criticizes Trump or the site may be barred from using it. TRUTH Social did not react promptly to TIME’s request for clarification on this section.
Trump stated in a news release that he founded TRUTH Social and its parent firm, Trump Media & Technology Group, to “stand up to the oppression of Tech Giants.” Following his lifetime ban from Twitter as well as suspension from Facebook for at least 2 years after the tragic January 6 incident at the United States Capitol, stories had circulated for months that Trump wanted to launch his own social media network. “We live in an age where the terrorists have a large presence on social media platforms, yet your favorite President of the United States has been silenced,” he stated on Wednesday.
TRUTH Social’s terms & conditions, however, make it apparent that the network not only aims to police content—as Facebook and Twitter do—but also has the right to delete users for just about any reason it considers essential. The agreements go on to state that if TRUTH Social chooses to delete or deactivate user profiles, the network may also sue individuals, whereas Twitter, as well as Facebook’s policies, does not. TRUTH Social’s rules stipulate, “In addition to canceling or deactivating your profile, we retain the right to take necessary legal action, including without restriction seeking a civil, criminal, and injunctive remedy.”
According to the statement, the TRUTH Social application will be available to guests in November and to the general public in the first quarter of 2022. However, cybercriminals claiming to be affiliated with the organization Anonymous were able to acquire access to a pre-release version of TRUTH Social and establish phony profiles for Trump and his former advisor Steve Bannon just hours after its introduction on Wednesday. The beta testing website was later decommissioned.