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Trump’s Truth Social Is Going Public

by Alexander
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Trump’s Truth Social Is Going Public

Former President Donald Trump’s Truth Social, a shameless Twitter clone, will soon become a publicly traded company next week.

Shareholders of Digital World Acquisition Corp. voted on Friday to merge with Trump Media and Technology Group, the company behind Truth Social. The mood is one culmination of a long story an attempt to merge Trump Media with a publicly traded company in a so-called SPAC deal. Once the company goes public, it will trade under the ticker DJT.

On Rumble, more than 2,000 people watched as a man dressed in a Jack Sparrow costume narrated the shareholders meeting in a livestream. After the vote was passed, the chat erupted. “THANK YOU JESUS!!!!!” read a comment from an account called CanAmPatriot17.

The vote would give Trump a significant windfall of nearly $3.5 billion in company stock, of which Trump owns about 60 percent. Digital World Acquisition’s share price rose about 4 percent after news of the vote.

This potential fortune couldn’t come at a better time for the former president. Trump is struggling to raise cash to cover a $454 million judgment against him in New York state as part of a civil fraud case. Trump also owes $83 million to E. Jean Carroll, as a result of a January verdict in a defamation lawsuit over an earlier jury’s findings that Trump sexually assaulted Carroll in a Bergdorf Goodman locker room in the 1990s. Trump’s posts on Truth Social were used as evidence in the January case.

As part of Trump’s deal with the company, he must wait about six months before he can sell shares. (Trump claimed on Truth Social this morning that he now has almost $500 million in cash.)

Truth Social seems almost identical to Twitter, with some key differences. Instead of ‘tweeting’, users post a ‘truth’. A ‘retweet’ is called a ‘re-truth’. Unlike many right-wing Twitter clones, the site functions well, has remained largely online, and even appears to have a somewhat active user base. But since its launch in February 2022, after Trump was kicked off mainstream platforms for inciting violence during the January 6 riot at the Capitol, the company has been embroiled in controversy.

The site is exactly what you would expect from a Trump-inspired social network. Groups advocating QAnon, election deniers, and other conspiracies are easy to find.

And in October 2022, Will Wilkerson, one of Trump Media’s senior staffers, said: has filed a whistleblower complaint to the Securities and Exchange Commission, alleging that the company made “fraudulent statements” in violation of federal securities laws. Wilkerson was fired shortly after filing the complaint. The SEC ultimately approved the merger proposal in February.

Trump Media co-founders Andy Litinsky and Wes Moss sued Trump Media in February, alleging the company devised a plan to dilute their shares. The two men, who are both former Apprentice contestants and shareholders of the company, said the company had to adhere to a 2021 agreement that gave them the ability to appoint directors to the company’s board of directors and other financial incentives .

The company has grown into one meme stock, where its performance appears to be more tied to Trump’s political prospects than to the company’s actual financial performance. The stock price could change dramatically before Trump has a chance to make money.

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