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FOSS Finds

This week’s FOSS finds: The big news – or maybe non-news – in this space is the pathetically inept rollout of Truth Social, Donald Trump’s $1,000,000,000 social networking site built on the free-as-in-beer but also free-as-in-freedom Mastodon software base. I watched Truth go online and I have thoughts, but here I will just share some resources I’ve gathered.

Primack, Dan. 2022. “Trump Is Blowing Truth Social’s Launch.” Axios. March 2, 2022.

This article summarizes the financial aspects of Truth Social, which received quite a bit of investment. Primack notes, however, that Trump has done little to nothing to promote Truth. (What else is new?) so that investors will start to get nervous that this might fail.

Cramer, Ruby. 2022. “The Emptiness Inside Donald Trump’s New Social Media Platform.” POLITICO. March 5, 2022.

A big problem with the Truth rollout was that they failed to meet the demand of new user signups. Instead, people were put on long waitlists. Ruby Cramer of Politico was one such waitlisted person and, as she reports, once she got into Truth, it seems to be a ghost town.

Caelin, Derek. 2020. “Decentralized Social Networks vs the Trolls.”

The start of Truth reminded me of course of the alt-right Christian nationalist Gab.com’s entry into the Fediverse – an entry quickly mitigated by fediblocking. It prompted me to study this video presentation from Derek Caelin, who unpacks the Gab/Mastodon incident with survey and interview data. If you want to understand the fediverse’s reaction to Truth, look to what happened with Gab.

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