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Former U.S. President Donald Trump will launch his own social media app, TRUTH Social, that he said would "stand up to Big Tech" companies such as Twitter and Facebook, which have barred him from their platforms.
TRUTH Social be rolled out early next year "with a mission to give a voice to all," according to a press release.
Trump said in a statement that it is "unacceptable" that the Taliban can have a presence on Twitter while "your favourite American President has been silenced."
He was banned from Twitter in January 2021 during the final days of his term, with Facebook suspending him in June.
The latter banned him for two years because he posed a “risk to public safety," while Twitter said he posed a "risk of further incitement of violence" in the wake of the US Capitol being stormed in January this year.
The new platform will be created through a new company formed by a merger of the Trump Media and Technology Group and a special acquisition company, according to a press release announcement on October 20, 2021 distributed by both organisations.
"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," Trump said in the written release.
"I am excited to send out my first TRUTH on TRUTH Social very soon. TMTG 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," he said.
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A Trump representative who declined to be named confirmed the contents of the TMTG news release to Reuters. Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington also tweeted a copy of the release.
According to the release, Trump Media and Technology Group and Digital World Acquisition Corp. would merge into a single publicly-traded company if approved by regulators and stockholders.
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The deal values Trump Media & Technology Group at $875 million, or £634 million, including debt, according to the statement. Trump Media & Technology Group's growth plans initially will be funded by DWAC's cash in trust of $293 million, or £212 million.
TRUTH Social plans a so-called Beta Launch for invited guests in November, followed by a nationwide rollout in the first quarter of 2022.
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The new company also has plans for a subscription video-on-demand service featuring entertainment programming, news and podcasts.
In January this year, ugly scenes unfolded as Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol building in Washington, attempting to overturn the then-President's 2020 election loss, apparently emboldened by tweets from the 75-year-old.
Five people lost their lives as a result of the violent riots, including Brian Sicknick who was overpowered and beaten by rioters and succumbed to his injuries later in hospital.
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Banning Trump, the social media giant said in a statement: "After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence."
Following the Capitol riot, Trump was suspended from several major tech platforms, including Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat.
He was also banned for two years from Facebook. “Given the gravity of the circumstances that led to Mr Trump’s suspension, we believe his actions constituted a severe violation of our rules which merit the highest penalty available under the new enforcement protocols.
"We are suspending his accounts for two years, effective from the date of the initial suspension on January 7 this year,” Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice-president of global affairs, said in a statement in June.
- Donald Trump
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