Trump’s social media empire is collapsing – Mother Jones
When Donald Trump announced that he planned to launch his own social media platform – and possibly his own streaming and web hosting MAGA Verse – his allies speculated that it could propel him into another stratosphere. power and richness of messaging. The idea was to marry the former president’s new venture to a so-called “SPAC” (a special purpose acquisition company) – a publicly traded shell of a company that would allow Trump to transform his digital empire into a virtual slot machine.
It didn’t work that way.
Since its launch in February, TruthSocial has looked much more like vaporware than a serious competitor to Twitter or Facebook. Hundreds of thousands of users apparently remain on the waiting list to enter, despite the fact that last week it was reported that the platform’s new downloads had fallen by 93% since its launch, to just 60,000 per week. Hardly anyone wants to participate in TruthSocial, and many who do apparently can’t. When they get along, there is very little content. Trump himself only “truthed” once, in February, in a short message promising he would be there more often.
Over the weekend, Reuters reported that the platform’s problems extend beyond its users and content – two senior executives, who the news service said were largely responsible for the technical foundations of the platform, resigned. And as anemic as the downloads are, a version of TruthSocial isn’t even available yet for Android phones, which make up 72% of smartphones worldwide and 40% of smartphones in America.
Former Congressman Devin Nunes – a Trump ally who was extremely sensitive to people saying things he didn’t like on social media, to the point where he sued an anonymous Twitter user posing as a cow – promised that the initial deployment hitch would be resolved by March 31. But that didn’t happen.
Unsurprisingly, stock prices of Digital World Acquisition Corporation (DWAC), the empty SPAC that Trump hopes to merge with his digital media company, fell. By Monday afternoon, when the stock market closed, the stock had fallen to around $56 per share, which is still significantly higher than the $10 per share launched last fall, but well below the all-time high of 97. $.54 hit just a month ago in March. 4. The stock continued to plunge Tuesday morning, heading for its lowest point since a potential merger with Trump was first announced in November.
There is still a lot of potential for Trump here, and potentially for many other investors. DWAC has yet to merge with Trump’s digital media company; if and when it does, Trump will likely control a fair amount of stock and have access to potentially huge funding. Already, investors have pledged up to $1 billion to fund Trump’s media operation. But these ifs and whens are not small things.
In December, DWAC revealed in a filing that it was being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission – for what, exactly, remains unclear. (In its filing disclosing the investigation, the company emphasized that the investigation does not mean any particular conclusions have been reached.) But SPAC experts say the federal investigation makes the merger possible, and the funds of the investors who would accompany it, less likely. arrive so soon. One of DWAC’s early investors also sued DWAC CEO Patrick Orlando, claiming Orlando committed fraud by pushing him out of the company. The investor alleged that DWAC had discussions with Trump’s media group about setting up a merger before DWAC went public. An Orlando attorney denied the lawsuit allegations; Orlando asked a judge to approve arbitration in the dispute. Using a SPAC to take a company public avoids much of the bureaucracy and scrutiny that a traditional IPO would entail, which would be an advantage for Trump. But one of the few strict rules is that the SPAC cannot coordinate with the company it ultimately merges with until the SPAC is made public. So if the fraud lawsuit is true, it could be a costly headache for Trump’s media empire.