Donald Trump’s new social media venture announced Saturday it has won a commitment for $1 billion from an unidentified “diverse group of institutional investors” — even though his operation missed a partial launch deadline last month.
Trump’s “Truth Social” media venture was supposed to launch an invitation-only “beta” test version of the social media site last week, but it didn’t happen. It still only exists as a largely promotional website (with a waiting list) six weeks after Trump announced the venture.
CNBC called the deadline the first “test” of whether Trump could deliver what he promised.
The share price of Digital World Acquisition Corp.(DWAC) — the SPAC company that plans to merge with the former president’s Trump Media & Technology Group Corp. (TMTG) — has dropped dramatically since skyrocketing after the former president first announced the project.
But Trump crowed in a statement Saturday that $1 billion sends an “important message to Big Tech that censorship and political discrimination must end … As our balance sheet expands, TMTG will be in a stronger position to fight back against the tyranny of Big Tech.”
He has promised a free-for-all social media site that will apparently skirt typical limits on such issues as spreading falsehoods and hate speech.
Trump was permanently banned from Twitter and other social media sites following the violence of the Jan. 6 insurrection and his support for the “patriots” who stormed the Capitol. When he initially announced his project in October, he complained that “your favorite American president has been silenced. It is unacceptable,” he added.
TMTG and DWAC announced that “subscription agreements for $1 billion in committed capital” would be received from the unknown group of investors once TMTG and DWAC are combined.
Truth Social had an inauspicious debut when hackers quickly manipulated the site, created a fake Donald Trump account, and posted images of defecating pigs.
It ran into another snag when the developer of the open-source software being used for Truth Social warned the operation last month that it was violating the software license.
Under licensing requirements, anyone using the code must make it accessible to the public. Developer Eugen Rochko announced in October that Truth Social was given 30 days to comply with the requirements. Yet nothing appears to have changed. Trump is still not making the code available, and has even suggested that the software is owned by his operation, which it is not.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.