Former President Donald Trump still plans to launch his own social media platform, but the site might not be live until after the midterms, The Washington Post reported Monday.
Major social networks suspended or banned Trump in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, accusing the former president of peddling misinformation and inciting violence. Since then, Trump has communicated via emailed statements rather than create accounts on alternative right-wing platforms like Parler and Gettr.
Trump's social network, to be called "Truth Social," is being developed by the Trump Media & Technology Group, which is set to be acquired by a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) called Digital World Acquisition Corporation. The merger, which according to the parties' agreement must be completed by September 2022, is on hold pending an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Post says Trump Media plans to "generate billions of dollars in revenue by competing in a number of different industries — social media, streaming, podcasting," is recruiting in Silicon Valley, and has announced a partnership with video-hosting site Rumble, which bills itself as a less censorious alternative to YouTube.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Trump has actually benefited in some ways from being deplatformed. He might not be able to address large audiences as easily, but to many Trump supporters still outraged by the bans, the former president's absence speaks as loudly as his presence ever did. However, even as they fume against Big Tech, some of Trump's fans are simultaneously glad he's off social media. In a 2017 CNN poll, a majority of Republicans were critical of the then-president's Twitter use.
The Journal reports that, according to Trump's aids, the former president is "has been eager to announce a 2024 bid," but has been persuaded to delay his decision — or at least his announcement — "until after the midterm elections in November."