Former President Donald Trump finally announced his long-rumored next endeavor: His very own social media platform.
And trolls have already gained access to it. It hasn’t even launched yet.
On Wednesday night, Trump distributed a press release announcing the formation of his new media venture called the Trump Media & Technology Group. Its first project is a social networking service ironically called “TRUTH Social.”
TRUTH isn’t set to launch until next year, although the press announcement says there will be a beta release this coming November.
If you head over to the advertised URL, TruthSocial.com, you’ll find a sign-up form to be put on a waiting list so you can be notified of the launch. There’s also a link to Apple’s App Store so you can pre-order the free mobile app for when it launches next year.
A few enterprising internet sleuths, however, decided to move that launch date up to the exact same day of Trump’s TRUTH announcement.
Mere hours after the world learned of Trump’s social media project, a sign-up link that clearly wasn’t meant to be public was discovered taking users to the domain “tmediatech.io.” A slew of people started registering for the unreleased platform via this page and quickly discovered that pretty much every username was available for the taking. The domain has since been taken down.
It didn’t take long before usernames that clearly would be Trump’s choice for his own personal handle — @DonaldJTrump, @DonaldTrump, and @realDonaldTrump — were registered. The proud new owner of the TRUTH Social username @DonaldJTrump also took the opportunity to bless his profile page with its first post: the “Pig Poop Balls” meme image.
Over on Twitter, the company’s CEO and founder Jack Dorsey noticed that the TRUTH Social handle @Jack, which is what Dorsey registered for his username on Twitter, was used by Trump’s group for its promotional photos for the upcoming TRUTH mobile app on the App Store. Trump was permanently banned from Twitter following the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”
However, even though the promo used the @Jack handle, the username was not registered on the platform yet either. So, once trolls noticed this, the @Jack handle was scooped up as well and immediately got into banter with one of TRUTH Social’s many Trump accounts about the former president’s ban.
The fun lasted for a few hours before users who had registered for the unreleased platform started to be hit with an on-screen prompt saying “you can no longer use your account.”
Someone with Trump Media & Technology Group noticed what was happening and pulled the plug. The “tmediatech.io” domain is now inaccessible and the registered accounts have seemingly been removed.
While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with using an open-source platform, it appears Trump’s team may be violating the Mastodon licensing it’s distributed under by removing credits and links in the source code. Mashable has reached out to Mastadon for comment but did not immediately hear back.