According to a column by technology company expert Chuck Jones for Forbes, Donald Trump's highly publicized foray into social media "Truth Social" not only has major hurdles to clear when it launches but could be crippled if he runs afoul of the existing technology companies whose help he will need.
Reviewing the 22-page proposal published by Trump's Technology Media & Technology Group, Jones spotted multiple red flags that should alarm investors who have been driving up the fledgling company's valuation.
As the journalist notes, Trump wants his technology company to be on par with the big companies, but he is about to find out he will have to play by their rules.
Pointing out that app for the yet-to-be-launched social media platform is available for pre-order from Apple, with Google Play likely to follow, acceptance by those two is also contingent upon following their terms of service.
As Jones wrote, "On slide 8 TMTG has a high-level timeline of U.S. media from newspapers, radio, cable television and social media from the 1790's to 2021. As can be seen on the timeline it includes when Parler, a conservative social media app, was removed from Apple's and Google's stores. Trump's TMTG Truth could very suffer the same demise if it winds up violating the platform's terms of service."
As the Telegraph reported after the Jan 6th Capitol riot, Parler -- an alternative for Trump fans -- was dropped by both Apple and Google Play over accusations they had become an "ongoing and urgent public safety threat." Similar accusations about content and postings by his "Truth Social" users could mean Trump's site would suffer the same economic crippling fate.
Add to that, will be the need for infrastructure to handle a massive surge of Trump fans who sign up and immediately begin commenting and posting information.
"Creating a large, scalable and reliable technology platform takes time, commitment and hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars," Jones explained. "Large technology teams have to be hired and retained along with a tremendous number of servers to store and distribute content. Usually a start-up will lean on Amazon's AWS or Microsoft's Azure to provide this service in the short-term and potentially longer-term. However, just because the hardware portion is outsourced doesn't mean TMTG won't need a large and skillful technology team."
He then warned, "What happens if these companies deem that the content on the servers doesn't comply with their terms of service? It will be extremely difficult for TMTG to build a large enough organization in a short timeframe to support its offerings and therefore the stock price."
Jones also added that TMTG is boasting that it will compete with companies like Netflix and Disney+ when it comes to content as a come-on to subscribers; a claim the journalist dismissed out of hand.
"The company appears to want to create a subscription model such as Netflix and Disney+ but with traditional cable or television network offerings," he wrote before adding, "Netflix and Disney+ have created huge content libraries over multiple years, if not decades, and licensed them in the case of Netflix, which cost and continue to cost billions of dollars on annual basis. If TMTG wants to create this kind of content it will either have to raise a lot more equity or take on hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, in debt like Netflix has done."
You can read the entire analysis here.
Capitol rioter disavows Trump in bid to leave jail: ‘He should be ostracized from any political future’
An accused U.S. Capitol rioter has been allowed to return home as he awaits trial because a federal judge believes he's more likely to become further radicalized in jail.
Thomas Sibick, who is accused of assaulting D.C. metropolitan police officer Michael Fanone and stealing his radio and badge, was ordered released Tuesday morning by Judge Amy Berman Jackson after he disavowed former president Donald Trump and agreed not to watch any TV news or look at social media, reported HuffPost's Ryan Reilly.
"[The attack was] a disgrace to our nation that left a scar Trump is ultimately responsible for," Sibick wrote in a court filing. "[Trump] is not a leader and should be ostracized from any political future, what he honestly needs to do is go away!"
"The shame, dishonor, and regret endured are without question the worst emotions ever experienced," Sibick added. "I disagree with what occurred that fateful day, especially the trauma suffered by Officer Michael Fanone, it is without question unconscionable."
Corrections officers praised Sibick's conduct while jailed and commended him for getting vaccinated, and the judge asked what "inputs" drove him to violently storm the Capitol with other Trump supporters.
"It was Fox News," Sibick told the judge.
Jackson barred him from watching the conservative network and other political TV programming, and released him home confinement in his parents' custody until trial, in part, to keep him away from other rioters jailed in the so-called "patriot wing" of the D.C. Correctional Treatment Facility.
Facebook is desperately trying to hire a lobbyist to sway Democratic officials — but no one will do it
Facebook had a cozy relationship with the White House when President Donald Trump was in power, but since Democrats have taken over, they've struggled to create a similar closeness.
According to the Wall Street Journal, internal documents that have become known as "The Facebook Papers" revealed that the company hasn't managed to find a lobbyist who will convince Democrats to leave the company alone. The result has been that Democrats are talking about regulations, breaking up the company and tighter restrictions.
According to the papers, the company can't keep a Democratic lobbyist. Ever since power moved to Democrats, Facebook has been looking for a lobbyist to go after the new president and persuade the House and Senate. They're offering a salary of $2.5 million, stock options and bonuses, but no one wants the job. Those familiar with the jobs also say that they're looking for Democrats and Republicans to fill out a high-level in-house lobbying team and for public policy jobs.
"Democrats who have passed on Facebook's outreach include veteran Capitol Hill aides, a senior adviser to Mr. Biden and aides to former President Barack Obama, including Valerie Jarrett, according to people familiar with the job search," said the report.
Previously, Facebook had hired John Branscome, a Democratic tech-policy aide from the Senate Commerce Committee and Daniel Kidera, who served as Sen. Chuck Schumer's scheduler.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn't have any close relationships with Democratic leaders. When former President Donald Trump was in the White House, he was welcomed for a visit. Photos of Zuckerberg in the Oval Office add to speculation that the company's algorithm is giving Republicans priority. For years the top-performing Facebook posts have been from conservative sites or personalities.
CEO Sheryl Sandberg lacks the relationships with Democrats as well. She may have worked as an aide in the Clinton White House, but she hasn't been in Washington for decades.
"Facebook's difficulty recruiting Democrats for Washington roles is the latest sign of the company's declining political fortunes and could make it harder for the company to influence efforts by Democrats to write tough new rules for internet platforms and take antitrust action against Facebook and other technology companies," said the Journal.
Up until recently, the lobbying shop was overseen by former Republican operative Joel Kaplan, Politico reported Tuesday. While he has spoken out on free-speech issues and dealing with right-wing figures, misinformation and ads for Trump, Kaplan never managed to sway conservatives angry about the censorship of Nazis and white supremacists and any effort, however meager, to stem false information on the platform.
It wasn't long ago that Facebook was cozy with Democrats, joining White House events with former President Barack Obama and even supported by many Republicans. But after 2016 things changed.
"It was like an overnight switch," said Facebook's former GOP rep. Katie Harbath. "It went from working at the coolest company to the company that got Donald Trump elected, in their eyes."
Problems persisted after Facebook refused to remove a false video of Speaker Nancy Pelosi that was intentionally slowed down to make it seem like she was drunk. Creator Mark Zuckerberg was personally involved in the decision and he attempted to reach out to the top House leader, but she refused to take his calls. Angering the third most powerful Democratic lawmaker in Washington, particularly one whose district has a Facebook office located in it, was probably not the best strategy for winning friends among the Democrats. Pelosi attacked the social network as a "disgrace" and an accomplice for "misleading the American people."
Now it appears Zuckerberg is facing the consequences with angry Democrats eager to regulate his company and unable to find a prominent Democrat willing to lobby for him. Meanwhile, all of the relationships with Republicans has turned into boycotts and conservatives fleeing the social media site for Parler or one of the new sites being started by Trump and his allies.
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