Where Things Stand: In Shock Of The Century, Trump’s Nunes-Run Social App Doesn’t Really Work

This is your TPM evening briefing.
WASHINGTON, DC DECEMBER 09: House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes R-CA listens before Lawyers for the House Judiciary Committee, Barry Berke representing the majority Democrats, and Stephen Ca... WASHINGTON, DC DECEMBER 09: House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes R-CA listens before Lawyers for the House Judiciary Committee, Barry Berke representing the majority Democrats, and Stephen Castor representing the minority Republicans, testify before the House Judiciary Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill December 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. The hearing is being held for the Judiciary Committee to formally receive evidence in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, whom Democrats say held back military aid for Ukraine while demanding they investigate his political rivals. The White House declared it would not participate in the hearing. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

Ex-President Trump’s long-awaited, much-heralded (in some circles) social media app Truth Social has debuted. And it is, in short, a large glitch fest.

The new social network, which essentially looks like an off-brand version of Twitter, was supposed to launch on Monday, available for download in the Apple Store. Now the Trump Media & Technology Group’s CEO (and former U.S. representative from California) Devin Nunes is suggesting it could be another month before the website is ready for primetime.

Among the issues that plagued the site since its launch day (per multiple news reports): the website experienced a 13-hour outage on its first day; there’s a 300,000 person-plus waiting list for getting accepted to use the app; the logo is reportedly stolen/identical to one a British company that sells solar panels for trucks uses; the website has already been criticized for the speech restrictions laid out in its terms of use (which, who reads that, but apparently you are restricted from doing stuff like posting Cuss Words or criticizing the website itself in your social posts). Among those who were actually successful in downloading the app, a bunch of users reported glitches when entering basic information like date of birth or email addresses. The website’s own name is misspelled on at least one section of a Help page.

Overall, the platform was basically non-functional and out of service for most of its launch day, according to the Washington Post, with its developers arguing that “overwhelming demand” was the culprit. Sure.

It’s a large mess. Nunes vowed to Fox News on Sunday that the website would be good to go by the end of March, more than a month after its planned launch date. The former congressman also apparently justified the glitchy holdups by saying that developers were building the site from “scratch,” which, as the Post notes, is not true:

But far from being built from scratch, the site’s code shows it is based heavily on the open-source software Mastodon, which provides free, prebuilt social-networking sites that users can then edit and customize.

Officials for the ripped off Twitter site — posts are called “truths” instead of tweets and “retruths” instead of retweets — have largely billed the new social network as a free-speech paradise, unlike boogeyman mainstream sites like Twitter and Facebook that supposedly silence conservatives and have either permanently or temporarily banned the former president for … literally using the platforms to incite a violent attack on the Capitol.

But that’s laughable. Within hours of the website’s launch a web developer named Matt Ortega tweeted that his attempt at creating an account, that would’ve brought the famed Nunes Cow discourse onto the new site, was banned.

If you recall, much of Nunes’ trajectory away from Congress and into the arms of the Trump social media movement could be attributed to a parody Twitter account that was named after a fake cow.

The Best Of TPM Today

Here’s what you should read this evening:

The latest: Putin Drops Diplomacy As Breakaway Regions Request Russia’s Military Help

Lol: If Trump Wants To Replace McConnell With Lindsey Graham, Lindsey Graham Knows Nothing About It!

Trump Was Already Prepping To Fight 2020 Results In Court Months Before Actual Election

Must Read: Five Arguments The Far Right Has Marshaled To Defend Putin

Confederate Amnesty Doesn’t Protect Cawthorn From Legal Challenge, State AG Argues

From TPM Cafe: Putin’s Public Approval Is Soaring During Russia-Ukraine Crisis. But It’s Unlikely To Last.

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

Cawthorn Frets He’s ‘Very Close’ To Getting Blocked From Running For Reelection — Cristina Cabrera

What We Are Reading

Group Carrying Nazi Flag Interrupts Reading in Rhode Island — Jesus Jiménez

Republicans view Putin more favorably than they do leading Democrats — Philip Bump

Maine bill would forgive up to $40K in student loan debt for first-time homebuyers — Mal Meyer

Latest Editors' Blog
  • |
    June 17, 2024 4:51 p.m.

    We talk a lot, rightly, about how Democrats are often instinctively cautious about going on the political attack. I just…

  • |
    June 17, 2024 3:30 p.m.

    I’ve been reading through your emails about your favorite Editors’ Blog posts, and among the maybe dozen that are most…

  • |
    June 17, 2024 8:49 a.m.

    A quick update on our weekend site upgrade (see posts below). We’ve got the new system up and running. Thank…

  • |
    June 15, 2024 12:30 p.m.

    Just a reminder that we are currently doing a major site upgrade, specifically tied to our membership system, and no…

Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: