Technology

Donald Trump raises a billion dollars to fund his social network

The launch of Donald Trump’s “social” network is approaching. Remember: when you left the White House, the former president of the United States announced the launch of a company – Trump Media Technology Group (TMTG) – destined to host a future social network called “Truth Social” and presented as an alternative to the giants of the sector Facebook and Twitter, suspected of restricting the freedom of expression of their supporters.

This structure is expected to merge with another entity, Digital World Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company (better known by the acronym SPAC). An operation that would allow Joe Biden’s predecessor to raise a sum close to one billion dollars and acquire a total endowment close to 1.25 billion dollars to finance the launch of the future platform. Currently available to pre-order on the App Store, it should theoretically launch in the first quarter of 2022. Note that the two companies have not specified the identity of investors who have committed to bringing funds to the platform. Donald Trump.

“I have no doubt that TMTG can effectively deploy this capital to accelerate and strengthen the execution of its business, including continuing to attract the best talent, hiring the best technology providers, and rolling out significant development and advertising campaigns,” he said. Patrick Orlando, CEO of Digital World, in a statement following the transaction.

Donald Trump’s crusade continues

The former president of the United States is not his first attack against Facebook and Twitter. The latter is accused of having contributed to his defeat at the end of 2020, during the US presidential elections that saw the victory of his Democratic opponent Joe Biden at the end of a campaign marked by many excesses. After several months of procrastination, Facebook had finally resolved to suspend Donald Trump’s account for two years in June 2021. As for the social network Twitter, the billionaire’s favorite playground, it had also toppled him after the murderous assault on the Capitol. in january. On February 6, 2021, a dark day for American democracy in which five people died.

In addition to Twitter and Facebook, the former president was also suspended from YouTube, also in January 2021, for similar reasons, namely the risk of provoking violence.

In the summer of 2020, the former US president announced the filing of a “major class action lawsuit against tech giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter, as well as their bosses Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Jack Dorsey,” as he had announced since his Bedminster Golf Club, NJ. If the outcome of this is not yet known, the American billionaire could well have his revenge with this new platform, which for several months has been the subject of sustained attention from the American financial markets.

An eventful launch

Still, the launch of the latter could prove more difficult than expected for the American billionaire. Last October, the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), a non-profit organization that promotes free software and defends free licenses such as the Gnu Affero GPL version 3 (AGPLv3) license, accused Donald Trump’s group of violating the code license. open AGPL by illegally copying the license. Mastodon social network source code for your future social network.

“The Trump Group must immediately make this corresponding source available to all who have used the site today while it was online,” said the organization, which did not exclude an appeal against the former president of the United States. AGPLv3 is one of the least used free software licenses. It is explicitly designed to ensure that the operator of a network server that provides a service, such as a social network, has to provide the source code of the modified version that runs there to its users.

As a reminder, Mastodon is open source software for running self-hosted social media services. Anyone can use it. “The license voluntarily treats everyone the same (even people we don’t like or disagree with), but they must operate under the same copyleft licensing rules that apply to everything,” said Bradley M. Kuhn. , a free software activist, SFC member and hacker in residence.

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