Truth Social, a new social media app that claims to be “free from political discrimination” from former President Donald Trump, made its public debut on Apple’s App Store on Monday in honour of President’s Day. Like many things in Trumpland, including the Trump himself, the app was messy and full of errors.
Former Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, CEO of Trump Media & Technology Group, announced that Truth Social would be rolling out in the App Store this week on Fox News on Sunday, with a goal of being fully operational in the U.S. by the end of March. The app went live shortly before midnight on Sunday and was automatically downloaded for users who had pre-ordered it in the App Store, Reuters reported.
The app quickly climbed the charts on the App Store, taking the number one spot in the social networking category on Monday. However, being first doesn’t necessarily equate with being the best in this case. Reports soon surfaced about users not being able to register and being placed on waitlists. In fact, as one Twitter user pointed out, users couldn’t even read about what they were signing up for because the terms of service page was down.
Gizmodo reached out to Trump Media & Technology Group on Monday for comment on Truth Social’s launch but did not receive an immediate response.
The following were some of the most reported issues and problems with Truth Social on Monday. Given the amount of problems with the app, this list is not exhaustive.
Registration can’t be completed
Just trying to register for an account on Truth Social was a challenge, according to CNET. The outlet found that people were receiving error messages when they tried to enter their birthdate, email, or phone number to create an account. Others received “Failure to register your account” messages.
Those who managed to get past the registration barrier — a Business Insider reporter stated that it took her five tries — had to face yet another hurdle: the eternal waitlist. It should be stated that many apps have long waitlists at launch, so this isn’t unusual. However, to me it was a bit weird, and frankly horrifying, that Truth Social told people what number they were on the waitlist, which in some cases was in the hundreds of thousands.
“We love you, and you’re not just another number to us,” the waitlist message read. “But your waitlist number is below.”
In the case of the Business Insider reporter, their number was 157,120. About 30 minutes after they signed up, Truth Social sent them an email saying they had moved up to roughly number 77,000. Yet, their place in the app was unchanged. Other users on Twitter who had moved up on the waitlist subsequently said they had been dropped or lost their place.
Incredible pic.twitter.com/ZiCFUmTkcK— Roger Sollenberger found true love, suckers (@SollenbergerRC) February 21, 2022
Given the two problems mentioned above, it’s no surprise that Truth Social reported a partial outage on its first day. According to its status page, the outage lasted for 13 hours and 14 minutes and was related to “application launch traffic.”
Terms of Service can’t be loaded
For those who wanted to learn more about what they were signing up for, that wasn’t possible, either. Truth Social’s “Terms of Service” page couldn’t be accessed as of Monday evening and displayed an “access denied” message.
Security flaw in the beta version of the app
Hours before Truth Social’s launch on the App Store, the Daily Dot uncovered a significant security flaw in the internal beta version of the app, which is used by the company’s developers to find bugs, that what was left publicly accessible online. This version is not the same version that was launched on the App Store on Monday.
The outlet was able to register for the @realDonaldTrump account on the internal beta on Sunday. It also found an account named “Papa Pinochet,” which expresses support for former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, responsible for the murder, torture, and exile of thousands. As noted by the Daily Dot, it’s not clear whether the account was meant to train the app’s moderation systems to flag inappropriate content or was created as a fan page.
Copying someone else’s logo
Lastly, Truth Social’s most hilarious failure at launch was accidentally, or so it appears at the moment, copying another company’s logo. According to Vice, the Truth Social logo is very similar to the logo for Trailar, a fleet telematics and fuel efficiency company in the UK.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA— z3dster (@z3dster) February 21, 2022
One of these is the icon for Trump's "truth social" site the other is the icon for a British "Fleet Telematics & Fuel Efficiency" company that has used it since at least 2019https://t.co/ajIMuykZN0https://t.co/BbnlIpMCkJ pic.twitter.com/aQssmef17x
The company told Vice it was made aware of the potential rip-off from media reports.
“Based on recent news brought to our attention by various media outlets, showcasing the similarities between our own Trailar logo and the Truth Social logo, we are now seeking legal advice to understand next steps and options available to protect our brand,” Matthew Summers, Trailar’s head of marketing, told the outlet.
All in all, it was difficult to tell what Truth Social was like on launch day because the most talked about subjects were all of its flaws. Currently, the app is only available in the U.S. on iOS and not on Android. No website for the app has been released yet, although its status page suggests one is in the works.