What’s Allowed on Trump’s New ‘TRUTH’ Social Media Platform—And What Isn’t

In the wake of former President Donald Trump announcing plans Wednesday to launch a new social media platform called “TRUTH Social,” the site’s terms of service quickly came under scrutiny.

Despite advertising itself as a platform that will “give a voice to all,” according to a press release, TRUTH Social’s terms of service state that users may not “disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the Site.”

This means that any person who criticizes Trump and the site could be removed from the platform. TRUTH Social did not immediately respond to TIME’s request for comment clarifying this clause.
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In a statement included in the press release, Trump said that he created TRUTH Social and its parent company, Trump Media & Technology Group, to “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech.”

After being permanently blocked from Twitter, and then suspended for two years from Facebook following the January 6th insurrection at U.S. Capitol’s deadly attack on the Capitol, reports swirl for months about Trump’s plans to create his own social networking site. “We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced,” he said in his Wednesday statement.

But while portraying itself as a refuge for free speech and the “first major rival to ‘Big Tech,’” TRUTH Social’s terms of service make it clear that the platform not only intends to moderate content—just as Twitter and Facebook do—but reserves the right to remove users for any reason it deems necessary. The terms go on to say that if TRUTH Social decides to terminate or suspend your account, the platform may also sue you—something that Twitter and Facebook’s terms don’t say.

“In addition to terminating or suspending your account, we reserve the right to take appropriate legal action, including without limitation pursuing civil, criminal, and injunctive redress,” TRUTH Social’s terms state.

These terms prohibit the use of the site for advertising or offering to sell products and services.

Maybe most notably, the site’s list of prohibited activities includes the “excessive use of capital letters,” an idiosyncrasy that Trump became known for on Twitter and that no other major social network specifically bans. TRUTH Social’s terms also contain some sections written in all-caps.

Also, according to the Washington Post, TRUTH Social’s terms of service appear to indicate that the platform is hoping to lean on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields digital platforms from lawsuits over content posted by their users, in order to protect itself from legal liability.

“We are not responsible for any Third-Party Websites accessed through the Site or any Third-Party Content posted on, available through, or installed from the Site, including the content, accuracy, offensiveness, opinions [or] reliability,” the terms state.

During his presidency, Trump staunchly criticized Section 230, calling it a “very dangerous and unfair” law and saying it should be “completely terminated.”

The release stated that the TRUTH Social app would be available to invitees starting in November, and the public beginning in the first quarter in 2022. Hackers claiming to be affiliated with Anonymous managed to access a prerelease of TRUTH Social within hours and created fake accounts for Trump’s former aide Steve Bannon. After that, the beta-testing site was taken down.


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