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Trump Defends Truth Social, Bursts In ‘Fake News’ That He Owes $1.6 Million Because His Trademark Was Denied
Donald Trump went to work Monday morning for his alternative social media site, claiming in a Truth Social post that the platform is “our voice” and urging his supporters to sign up.
Reports reveal a series of problems since the website’s launch, including accumulating $1.6 million in debt and an impending legal battle and being rejected for a trademark application.
But the former president claims these reports are simply ways for the media to take down Truth Social, which he says is “quite at the right time.”
Instead, he pointed to the 550 percent increase in downloads in the week following the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago earlier in August. The search sparked a spike in popularity for the site, encouraging Trump supporters just three months before the 2022 midterms.
The former president also reiterated his call for FBI agents to come forward regarding the raid.
‘TRUTH IS OUR VOICE!!! Sign up today,” Trump posted to Truth Social at 2:08 a.m. Monday.
Donald Trump tore up ‘fake news’ about a series of issues facing his Truth Social platform after reports emerged that he owed $1.6 million to the hosting service and his trademark application was rejected
How Truth Social has faced a range of issues since its launch?
Trump’s app launched on the Apple Store in February 2022 and was conceptualized after being permanently banned from Twitter following the Capitol attack of January 6, 2021.
It is promoted as an alternative social media site from major tech platforms such as Twitter and Facebook that provide a platform for freedom of expression that does not censor or discriminate against different views.
After the official launch on February 21, there were approximately 2 million downloads in the Apple App Store in the US in the first two weeks.
But long waits to get to the site and frequent outages led to a drop in downloads, with critics calling it a “disaster.”
Downloads recovered in late April, when people who had waited months to access the app finally got it.
The site has also suffered from legal disputes, with federal regulators investigating whether the holding company has illegally coordinated with the Trump Media & Technology Group.
Others have accused the site of being a platform for far-right extremists.
Reports claim Truth Social has failed to pay web hosting service RightForce since March and has accumulated $1.6 million in debt.
Digital World Acquisition Corp., a SPAC promoting Truth Social that are planned to merge with them to go public face serious legal challenges and regulatory investigations. It is under investigation by the SEC for possible negotiation of the deal before it goes public.
Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), led by former California Representative Devin Nunes, signed a deal with conservative-oriented RightForge to host Truth Social.
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) denied Trump’s application for Truth Social, finding that two other companies have similar names and that granting the trademark would create a “risk of confusion.”
The patent office said the company’s name was too similar to Vero – True Social, an app-based social media platform, and the Truth Network, a Christian radio broadcasting network.
They wrote in their dossier that “the dominant wording TRUTH and TRUE convey the same idea of being honest or emphasizing facts while socially networking.”
“In addition, both brands also contain the wording SOCIAL, which means that they generally look and sound the same, outside of a slight variation on TRUTH,” the office continued. “Since the marks are similar and the goods and services are related, there is a risk of confusion as to the origin of the applicant’s goods and services, and registration will be refused under Article 2(d) of the Trademark Act.”
Trump has until February 2023 to respond to the request.
Three people familiar with the dispute also allege that Trump’s tech company hasn’t made any of its monthly payments to web hosting service RightForce since March and has built up a long-standing debt.
RightForge is now preparing to take legal action, Fox Business said.
“Our original vision is to create a second internet to support American ideas online,” RightForge chief executive Martin Avila said in a statement, while declining to comment on the claims themselves.
“RightForge believes in the mission of President Trump’s Freedom of Speech Platform and will continue to support the President in his media efforts.”
Truth Social did not return a request for comment.
Trump claimed Saturday afternoon, “The fake news media is devastated at how well the TRUTH is doing it, at just the right time, they are working overtime to criticize and humiliate it.”
Trump’s Truth Social Launched In February But Now Owes $1.6 Million To A Web Hosting Company
About three million people have now downloaded Truth Social, but the company behind it faces investigations by financial regulators
“Actually, many of the big guns in Washington DC are fighting to stop the TRUTH, but they won’t succeed,” he insisted. “They’re going after the outside finance company, and pretty much everyone who walks and breathes, but it won’t.”
“They said it’s gotten worse since the Raid, but actually it’s WAY better, up over 550%. We all love TRUTH!!!’
The platform was launched in February to serve as a mouthpiece for the former president, who was banned from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube in the wake of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
Since then, he’s used it to keep up with a steady stream of commentary about interim races, Joe Biden’s performance, and the raid on his Florida home.
However, it has failed to attract a large audience – and the number is way behind mainstream platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and even the far-right site Gab, which has tens of millions of monthly users.
It also faced a series of early technical issues such as long wait times to access the website, which significantly slowed down download and user rates.
Some industry experts point out that it’s still not available to Android phone users — a system more popular with Trump fans than iPhones.
But the structuring of the company could prove even more problematic.
Truth Social is partially owned by TMTG, a holding company that eventually plans to transition to streaming and other online services.
Download speed increased by 550 percent, according to Data AI
Authorities stand outside Mar-a-Lago the day after the FBI raid, which was linked to an investigation into whether Trump resigned from the White House when he left office
But plans to make it public by merging with Digital World Acquisition Corp., a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, have been shelved indefinitely.
The Securities and Exchange Commission and a Justice Department grand jury have launched an investigation over allegations that the two companies have violated merger rules.
Both companies say they are cooperating with the probes.
Trump himself faces a range of legal problems.
Most recently, FBI agents recovered boxes of classified documents in his Florida home as the Justice Department investigates the removal of hundreds of files from the White House when Trump left office.