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Donald Trump Poses a Unique Threat To Truth Social, Says Truth Social

Donald Trump Poses a Unique Threat To Truth Social, Says Truth Social

Trump Media & Technology Group, the Truth Social parent company majority-owned by former president Donald Trump, filed a document with the Securities and Exchange Commission this morning that helpfully details all of the ways Trump himself poses a threat to the company and its shareholders.

While the company generated just over $4 million in revenue in 2023, Trump Media’s valuation has fluctuated wildly since going public in March, at one point reaching more than $7 billion. As of this morning, the company was valued at $3.7 billion. Trump Media has become a meme stock, where the stock price is governed more by vibes than traditional financial performance.

The SEC document filed by Trump Media this morning, which announced the public stock offering of 21.5 million shares, also detailed the company’s “risk factors.” These statements are standard for publicly traded companies, and usually include anything from macroeconomic headwinds to worst-case scenarios like earthquakes or terrorist attacks. The filing does include several risk factors that aren’t directly related to Trump, including competition from other social media companies, deficiencies in bookkeeping and accounting, and data privacy laws. And the company has faced multiple lawsuits from early employees of the company, who argue they deserve more shares.

But an entire section is dedicated to Trump-associated risks, making Truth Social’s risk factors unique because they cast Trump’s role as chief promoter and majority shareholder as a threat to the company’s success.

“TMTG may be subject to greater risks than typical social media platforms because of the focus of its offerings and the involvement of President Donald J. Trump,” the company said in the SEC filing. “These risks include active discouragement of users, harassment of advertisers or content providers, increased risk of hacking of TMTG’s platform, lesser need for Truth Social if First Amendment speech is not suppressed, criticism of Truth Social for its moderation practices, and increased stockholder suits.”

Here’s how Trump Media says Trump himself could threaten the company:

Trump’s Legal Issues

Trump Media noted that if Trump “were to discontinue his relationship with TMTG due to death, disability, criminal conviction, incarceration, or any other reason, or limit his involvement with TMTG due to his ongoing candidacy for political office, TMTG would be significantly disadvantaged.”

Trump’s History of Bankruptcy

“Entities associated with President Donald J. Trump have filed for bankruptcy protection in the past,” the company said in the filing, which noted that The Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza, the Trump Castle, the Plaza Hotel, and Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc had all previously filed for bankruptcy.

“While all of the foregoing were in different businesses than TMTG, there can be no guarantee that TMTG’s performance will exceed the performance of those entities,” the filing said.

Other Companies Refusing to Work With Truth Social

“To date, several potential third-party partners have expressed an unwillingness or reluctance to work on TMTG’s products or provide services for reasons including TMTG’s connection with President Donald J. Trump,” the filing stated.

Trump’s Use of Other Platforms

The company warned that if Trump stopped using Truth Social, its business would be adversely affected.

Trump has an agreement to post all content he deems as “non-political” to Truth Social first, and must wait 6 hours before posting it on any website. But Trump, as a political candidate, may be able to argue that anything he posts is political content, meaning the company doesn’t have much power if he wants to start tweeting again.

“Consequently, TMTG may lack any meaningful remedy if President Donald J. Trump minimizes his use of Truth Social,” the filing states.

Politically Motivated Hackers

Trump’s involvement makes the company a prime target for hackers, according to the filing.

“TMTG believes that it is a particularly attractive target for such breaches and attacks, including from nation states and highly sophisticated, state-sponsored, or otherwise well-funded actors,” the company said in the filing. “And TMTG may experience heightened risk from time to time as a result of geopolitical events.”

Trump’s Self-Interest

Trump, who owns 57.6 percent of Trump Media, could steer the company to his benefit in a way that might not align with other Trump Media investors.

“President Donald J. Trump will, as a controlling stockholder, be entitled to vote his shares in his own interests, which may not always be in the interests of TMTG’s stockholders generally,” the filing says.

US Navy Veteran Who Feds Say Rammed FBI Headquarters Had QAnon-Linked Online Presence

US Navy Veteran Who Feds Say Rammed FBI Headquarters Had QAnon-Linked Online Presence

A former Navy submarine technician was arrested after law enforcement says he drove an SUV into the FBI headquarters near Atlanta on Monday afternoon. It is still unclear why the suspect, Ervin Lee Bolling, attempted to force entry to the headquarters, but research by Advance Democracy, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that conducts public-interest research, and shared exclusively with WIRED, has found that accounts believed to be associated with Bolling shared numerous conspiracy theories on social media platforms, including on X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook.

Just after noon on Monday, Bolling rammed his burnt orange SUV with South Carolina license plates into the final barrier at FBI Atlanta’s headquarters, Matthew Upshaw, an FBI agent assigned to the Atlanta office wrote in a sworn affidavit on Tuesday. Upshaw added that after Bolling crashed the SUV, he left the car and tried to follow an FBI employee into the secure parking lot When agents instructed Bolling to sit on a curb, he refused and tried again to enter the premises. The affidavit also stated that Bolling resisted arrest when agents subsequently tried to detain him.

Bolling was charged on Tuesday with destruction of government property, according to court records reviewed by WIRED.

Advance Democracy researchers identified an account on X with the handle @alohatiger11, a reference to the Clemson University mascot which Bolling has expressed support for on his public Facebook page. The handle name is also similar to usernames on other platforms like Telegram and Cash App, which bear similarities to a Facebook page with Bolling’s name. The profile picture used in the X account also resembles a picture of the same man shown in Bolling’s public Facebook profile. The X account is currently set to private, but dozens of the account’s old posts are still publicly viewable through the Internet Archive.

In December 2020, the X account wrote a response to a post about a federal government stimulus bill that stated, “Wonder what it will take for people to wake up.” The X account associated with Bolling responded, “I’m awake. Just looking for a good militia to join.”

Around the same time, social media accounts seemingly associated with Bolling repeatedly boosted QAnon content and interacted with QAnon promoters, including posting a link to a now-deleted QAnon-associated channel on YouTube alongside the comment: “Release the Kraken’—in direct reference to Sidney Powell’s failed legal efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia.

On what’s believed to be Bolling’s Facebook account, there were various posts related to anti-vaccine memes as well.

The accounts also posted in support of former President Donald Trump. In December 2020, “I love you” was posted in response to a post on X from former President Donald Trump claiming falsely that the election was rigged by Democrats.

Courtney Bolling, who is identified as the suspect’s wife on Facebook, did not respond to requests for comment via phone or messages sent to her social media profiles. No legal counsel is listed on record for Bolling.

It is so far unclear how Bolling came to espouse these beliefs, but far-right groups and extremists have used social media platforms for decades as a way of spreading conspiracies and radicalizing new members. In recent years there have been numerous examples of far-right groups making online claims or threats which have been quickly followed by real world violence.

‘Trump 2024 To the Moon’: MAGA Fans Go All In on Truth Social Stock

‘Trump 2024 To the Moon’: MAGA Fans Go All In on Truth Social Stock

Truth Social, former President Donald’s Trump’s clone of Twitter, has a fraction of the users of competitors like Reddit and X. The company has never turned a profit, and just happens to be the place where Trump is currently posting.

But on the NASDAQ, the stock exchange where Truth Social became a publicly traded company today, there’s a different story: Truth Social has become a certified meme stock. Trump supporters seem to have conflated their support for the former president with the stock itself, and are buying en masse.

The stock quickly rose more than 40 percent after being listed and trades under a ticker of Trump’s initials, DJT. The company is now valued at more than $6.8 billion. The value, however, could change quickly; the stock was so volatile that it temporarily halted soon after it was listed. The company’s financial performance has been underwhelming. It posted $3.3 million in revenue and lost $49 million in the first three quarters of 2023, according to regulatory filings.

Still, Trump’s fans have posted on Reddit, X, and Truth Social about how they plan to hold the stock in defiance of traditional investing logic. Previous meme stocks like Gamestop and cryptocurrency culture have helped provide the script, but the rhetorical formula is simple: short sellers will perish, this stock is going to the moon, and don’t sell no matter what.

“Let’s go baby! Trump 2024 to the moon,” one user posted on reddit, followed by the rocket ship emoji.

In another Reddit thread, stockholders discussed at what price they would sell shares in the company. “At least waiting for the election win,” one user posted, with the tag Diamond DWAC, a reference to “diamond hands,” a desire to hold a stock despite volatility.

“$150 maybe… but probably waiting for the launch of TMTG+ streaming and also stories videos,” another replied. “Or when our founder is The Leader of The Free World (again) and most reported on person on the world with the most attention on him and his platform. So maybe never‼️”

Reddit user deepfuckingbagholder speculated the company could eventually be worth 1 trillion dollars. When another user replied, saying that valuation would be virtually impossible, deepfuckingbagholder wrote back: “This stock represents the value of Trump’s brand and I personally believe it can achieve that valuation.”

Truth Social is, predictability, a hotbed of conspiracy theories. Electron denialism, vaccine skepticisim, and the great replacement theory are all prominently featured on the site. The company has also been marred in controversy since it began, following Trump’s ban from Twitter after the January 6 riot at the Capitol. A former senior employee filed a whistleblower complaint with the SEC, and other former employees have sued the company, alleging a breach of contract. Shareholders voted to take the company public last week, merging Trump Media and Technology Group with a publicly traded holding company, Digital World Acquisition Corp.

The outsized valuation of Truth Social has made Trump incredibly rich. His net worth rose $4 billion to $6.5 billion, making him one of the world’s 500 richest people, according to calculations by Bloomberg News. Trump is restricted from selling shares in the company for about six months, so his net worth could still tank, however, if the price of Truth Social falls.

On Truth Social, one user said a prayer.

“Bless all the patriots invested in #DJT,” GothamGal wrote. “Bless this investment, and make us successful so that we may do your will and bring glory to you. Bless and protect our president DJT, and our country. In Jesus name.”

2054, Part VI: Standoff at Arlington

2054, Part VI: Standoff at Arlington

18:46 April 15, 2054 (GMT‑5)

Arlington National Cemetery

That night in her apartment Julia Hunt ordered in sushi and watched the coverage of Slake’s botched press conference on her living room sofa. Days later, Slake’s panicked responses to the questions about Castro’s death continued to air, and they appeared even worse on the news.

Hunt raised a piece of salmon sashimi between two chopsticks as she read the chyron for the next story: Castro Autopsy Leaked on Common Sense Confirms Foul Play and White House Lies. She dropped the fish onto her lap.

News of the withheld autopsy exploded. On every channel the prime-time anchors flashed printed copies of the report to the camera. They read whole sections aloud, describing the dimensions of the marble-sized mass of cells inexplicably lodged in Castro’s aorta and the excerpted transcript of the autopsy itself, in which the chief internist concluded, “This can’t be the same heart.”

Within the hour, Truthers flooded the streets in cities around the country. As Hunt scrolled the channels, a news crew in Lafayette Park was conducting interviews with the growing mass of protesters, one of whom she recognized; it was the man in the wheelchair she’d met on the Metro. She had thought of him often. Now she learned his identity: retired gunnery sergeant Joseph William Sherman III. Beneath his name on the screen were the words Truther Volunteer Organizer. She placed his name in a search engine and learned that he’d lost his legs in the Spratly Islands and that the Chinese nuclear attack on San Diego had killed his wife and three daughters, who’d lived at nearby Camp Pendleton. Hunt could hear in Sherman’s voice how deeply he resented a president who while alive flaunted constitutional norms by clinging to power for an attempted fourth term and whose successor, Smith, now flaunted norms again by withholding an autopsy and refusing to be transparent about his predecessor’s death.

“Point your camera here,” said Sherman, thumbing toward his missing legs. “I sacrificed these for my country, and you’re going to lie to me … you’re going to lie to all of us.” He gestured expansively to a cluster of Truthers who’d placed him at their center, the core of them veterans, wearing old military fatigues adorned with medals that dangled from their chest pockets. “It’s a lie that Smith is the legitimate president when he so clearly had a hand in killing Castro. Is this what America has become? Dreamers drunk on power led by a dictator-president. Lies to the many so long as it gives power to the few.” Sherman held the camera’s focus with his insistent blue eyes.

His tone was so resolved, the correspondent felt compelled to answer him. In a meek voice, she said, “I don’t know.”

“Of course you don’t.” Sherman leaned into the camera. “President Smith,” he began, “you are illegitimate. You will find that everyday Americans—we patriots who demand the truth about your crimes and the excesses of the Dreamers—will not be led by a thief, by someone who stole the presidency. We served our country before, and we’ll serve it again. And don’t even think of trying to place your predecessor in Arlington’s hallowed ground.” Sherman swiveled around, turning his back to the camera, and wheeled himself away.

The news cut to commercial.

Julia Hunt rested her head against the arm of her sofa, her eyes still glued to the screen. Weeks of exhaustion swept over her. While she waited for the program to return, she fell into a black wilderness of sleep. Deep into this sleep, in the early hours of the morning, she began to dream: Here, in the dream, she is asleep in her girlhood bedroom and is woken before dawn by a noise, the sound of something hitting the floor. Her surroundings are familiar, the adobe ranch house in New Mexico where Sarah Hunt had raised her. Wearing her nightgown, she carefully shuts the door behind her and steps into the dark corridor. At its far end a single band of light escapes from the base of another door. She begins to walk down the corridor. The tiles are cool beneath her bare feet. As she draws closer, she can hear what sounds like a struggle.

A Sudanese Paramilitary Group Accused of Ethnic Cleansing Is Still Tweeting Through It

A Sudanese Paramilitary Group Accused of Ethnic Cleansing Is Still Tweeting Through It

“It’s difficult to say what the general audience is for the RSF,” says Tessa Knight, a researcher at the DFRLab and author of the report. “But the fact that they have translated a lot of work into English does indicate that they’re likely aware of the fact that people who are looking at their content on Twitter don’t speak Arabic, meaning they’re potentially targeting an international audience.”

Last year, both YouTube and Meta removed the pages belonging to the RSF and Hemedti on their platforms. YouTube did so after Suliman contacted them. A new Facebook page for the RSF appears to have been started in December, but after WIRED reached out to Meta to ask about the page, Meta removed it. Meta spokesperson Corey Chambliss confirmed to WIRED that “the RSF and its leaders have been removed from our platforms for violating our Dangerous Organizations and Individuals policy.”

But X, says Suliman, never responded to him. Since taking over the platform in November 2022, Elon Musk has gutted many of the teams responsible for moderation, the work that keeps hate speech, violence, and nudity off the platform, leaving very few people for outside researchers and civil society groups to reach out to.

According to X’s policies, the platform prohibits “terrorist organizations, violent extremist groups, perpetrators of violent attacks, or individuals who affiliate with and promote their illicit activities.” A former Twitter employee, who asked to remain anonymous, told WIRED that even before Musk’s takeover, an organization like the RSF would have fallen into a gray area for the platform, because the US does not consider the RSF to be a terrorist organization, a large factor in which groups most social platforms, including X, consider dangerous.

“Twitter allowed some violent organizations on the platform,” the former employee said. “For instance, the Taliban had a Twitter account even before they came to power in 2021.”

“Individual content would be grounds for removal, and if there’s enough content removed, the account can be taken down,” says the former employee. “But it’s treated generally like any other account until that point.”

X did not respond to a request for comment.

At the beginning of the conflict, Knight says, it seemed most of the RSF’s social media presence was geared toward trying to control the international narrative to ”to make it impossible to ascertain what was actually going on.”

This isn’t the group’s first attempts at scrubbing their image. In 2019, RSF contracted a Canadian public relations firm to polish Hemedti’s image, in addition to helping the new military government firm up new oil contracts and lobby for a meeting with then president Donald Trump.

“A lot of people, a lot of activists have tried to contact Twitter to have the RSF account removed, in a similar manner to contacting YouTube and contacting Meta,” says Knight. “And they’re still online, so nothing has really come of that.”