Former first lady Melania Trump has announced she’s going to make the conspiracy-filled, right-wing network Parler her “social media home” and promised to provide her followers there with “exclusive communications.”
Yes, that’s right, the same Melania Trump whose husband, former President Donald Trump, is just about to launch his very own social media network, called Truth Social—although saying it’s “about to launch” is a bit of a stretch, given that it’s already missed multiple deadlines.
The news that Melania Trump had chosen Parler—the site that was taken offline in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot—was announced on Wednesday. But it wasn’t shared on Parler itself but rather on Parler’s Substack account.
“Parler announces that the former first lady, Melania Trump, has engaged Parler in a special arrangement for her social media communications,” the company wrote. “As part of the synergistic relationship, Mrs. Trump will share exclusive communications on Parler.”
“Mrs. Trump launched her blockchain technology and non-fungible token (NFT) platform, MelaniaTrump.com, in December 2021. Parler is powering her platform. Mrs. Trump and Parler have found synergy in the shared desire to embrace Web3 technology.”
Web3 refers to the idea that the internet is moving toward a new set of decentralized technologies based on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology—though it’s really not that decentralized at all.
But clearly, Melania Trump is well-versed in the complex possibilities of Web3:
“I am excited and inspired by free speech platforms that give direct communication to people worldwide. Parler has been on the forefront of utilizing Web3 technology and empowers its users to foster productive discourse,” the former first lady said in the press release Parler published.
Truth Social has yet to announce any Web3 aspects to its platform, so maybe it was this lack of vision that made Melania choose Parler over her own husband’s platform.
Or it could be the fact that no one really knows when, even if, Truth Social will even launch.
When Trump announced Truth Social back in October, he said it would launch in some form in November. That date came and went without a launch, but in early January, the company indicated it would launch on Apple’s App Store by Feb. 21.
But now that deadline seems to have slipped away too, with the company’s CEO Devin Nunes telling Newsmax last week that the app would launch by March 31.
The news of the delayed launch saw the share price of the investment vehicle funding Truth Social, Digital World Acquisition Corp., plummet earlier this week, and the stock price has remained at the new low price ever since.
Nunes raised eyebrows when he resigned from Congress last year and gave up his position as the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee in order to take over Trump Media and Technology Group.
He has no background in technology—unless you count his decision to sue a fake cow on Twitter—and in the interview with Newsmax seems to have forgotten that he is in fact in charge of a big technology company.
“We cannot use any of the Big Tech companies,” Nunes complained. “We've seen what has happened to other small startup companies. And when Amazon decides they don’t like them, they cut them off.”
Like all new social media platforms, Truth Social faces a major moderation challenge, but it appears that Nunes has that covered.
“We want to be very family friendly, we want this to be a very safe place, and we are focused on making sure any illegal content is not on the site,” Nunes told Fox Business last month, revealing that their aim to prevent sexually explicit content from being uploaded onto the platform. To ensure Truth Social can keep this promise, Nunes said it was partnering with Hive, a startup that provides “next-generation intelligent automation solutions.”
It’s unclear, however, if Hive’s tools or Truth Social’s content moderation police will prevent what happened when the site briefly went live last year: A user pretending to be Donald Trump posting a picture of a pig with swollen testicles taking a dump.
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