Donald Trump’s alternative social network Truth Social has not yet officially launched, but it is already causing conflicts: the American non-profit organization Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) accuses Truth Social of violating the Affero General Public License (AGPLv3). According to the organization, there are clear indications that the Trump Network is relying on code from the Twitter-like Mastodon service, which is subject to this open source license. Anyone who continues to use code under the AGPLv3 in this way must also follow the license and make their manually modified Mastodon code available. This is exactly what did not happen.
“Okay, that sounds familiar.”
Former US President Trump announced the creation of the new platform on Wednesday. He had the money to start his own publicly traded media company. According to US reports Shortly thereafter, there was a version of the network, probably intended for testing, on the Internet, to which many people, including hackers and journalists, were able to instantly access it and create accounts. Activists flooded the platform with fake profiles and protest memes.
Several screenshots that indicated similarities to Mastodon have also been circulating on other social media – including, for example References in the HTML code of the page Or use the same code on an error page. “Okay, that sounds familiar,” the mastodon makers commented on Twitter.
Truth Social shall enable those early adopters to view the source code and license terms, Bradley M. Kon of the SFC argues in a blog post. The Trump media group behind the social network must now comply with this disclosure obligation within 30 days, or else their rights to the program will expire. “This is how AGPLv3 works without exception — even if you’re a real estate mogul, reality TV star, or even a former US president,” Kuhn said.
Mastodon founder, Eugene Rochko, told various American mediaSo, judging by the circulating images, it is clear that the Truth Social used Mastodon. He first wanted to seek legal advice on this matter. “Compliance with the AGPLv3 license is very important to me because it is the basis on which I and other developers are willing to pass years of work for free.” Rochko left the question of whether he wanted legal action without comment.
Trump vs ‘Terani’
Trump’s media group has not yet commented on the matter. The network should begin for invited guests in November, then nationwide in early 2022, according to the announcement on Wednesday. The goal is to stand up to the “tyranny” of the big tech companies. “We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge Twitter presence, but your dearest American president has been silenced,” Trump said.
There’s currently not much to see on The Truth’s homepage, except for an advertisement for the service. You can register for a waiting list, there are rules of use and data protection. There is also a link to a free iPhone app, which has yet to be released.
Banned on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube
Twitter, Facebook and YouTube banned Trump’s accounts in January before the end of his term in office. The motive was Trump supporters’ storming of the US Capitol – and that he expressed sympathy for the attackers. He also goes on to claim, without any evidence, that his victory in the November presidential election was stolen by fraud. With it he warmed the mood in the country.
More than 80 million users followed Trump on Twitter – it was his most important communication platform until the ban. The former president is taking legal action against his account being blocked for a long time.