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SALT LAKE CITY — Former President Donald Trump has figured out a way to circumvent his current bans on the world's biggest social media sites including Twitter and Facebook, announcing Wednesday that he'll launch his own social media site, Truth Social, in a test version next month.
In a press release, Trump announced a company he operates, Trump Media & Technology Group, will partner with Digital World Acquisition to launch the new platform, which will be available initially on an invite-only basis before rolling out nationally in the first quarter of 2022, according to the announcement.
Trump said the project is aiming to create "a rival to the liberal media consortium and fight back against the 'Big Tech' companies of Silicon Valley, which have used their unilateral power to silence opposing voices in America."
"I created Truth Social and (Trump Media and Technology Group) to stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech," Trump said in a statement. "We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced.
"This is unacceptable. I am excited to send out my first truth on Truth Social very soon. (Trump Media and Technology Group) was founded with a mission to give a voice to all. I'm excited to soon begin sharing my thoughts on Truth Social and to fight back against Big Tech. Everyone asks me why doesn't someone stand up to big tech? Well, we will be soon!"
Hackers have wasted no time in taking a shot at Trump's new project.
The Washington Post reported Thursday morning that digital intruders got access to what appeared to be an unreleased test version of the platform and posted a picture of a defecating pig to the "donaldjtrump" account.
On Jan. 8 of this year, Twitter banned Trump for what the company said was violations of the platform's Glorification of Violence policy, which "aims to prevent the glorification of violence that could inspire others to replicate violent acts and determined that they were highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place at the U.S. Capitol on January 6."
- The Twitter ban is permanent and company COO Ned Segal clarified in a February CNBC interview that the ban will continue, even if Trump is reelected president.
- "When you're removed from the platform, you're removed from the platform," Twitter Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal told CNBC in February.
- Facebook announced its own ban of Trump on Jan. 7 following the former president's unfounded, and since debunked, claims of electoral fraud in the 2020 election.
- "The Board found that, in maintaining an unfounded narrative of electoral fraud and persistent calls to action, Mr. Trump created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible," the board posted in May. "At the time of Mr. Trump's posts, there was a clear, immediate risk of harm and his words of support for those involved in the riots legitimized their violent actions.
- "As president, Mr. Trump had a high level of influence. The reach of his posts was large, with 35 million followers on Facebook and 24 million on Instagram."
- In June, the Facebook board stipulated that Trump's ban would run for two years, until Jan. 7, 2023.