Donald Trump's Twitter return hits new roadblock
Donald Trump is legally obliged to post on his libertarian social network before sharing his thoughts elsewhere, filings have revealed amid speculation about whether the former President will return to Twitter.
Mr Trump has signed an exclusivity clause with Truth Social meaning his posts cannot appear on any other site for at least six hours after they are posted.
The former President launched the company as a “free speech social network” after being kicked off Twitter in the wake of the Capitol Hill riots two years ago.
Truth Social restrictions do not apply to Mr Trump's political campaigning, the filing says, potentially paving the way for the Republican to use Twitter as a launchpad for the 2024 presidency.
Elon Musk, who has had a $44bn (£36bn) offer accepted to buy Twitter, has said he would allow Trump back on if the deal goes ahead.
Truth Social is a close copy of Twitter with the word ‘tweet’ replaced with ‘truth’. Users therefore post ‘truths’ and share other users’ posts by pressing the ‘retruth’ button.
The former president owns a 46pc stake in Trump Media and Technology Group, the company behind Truth Social.
Mr Trump's site has around 500,000 active users. Twitter said it had around 229 million active users during the first three months of 2022.
Following the riots at the US Capitol building in January 2021, Mr Trump was permanently banned from Twitter "due to the risk of further incitement of violence".
Supporters of Mr Trump had gathered in Washington DC to contest the legitimacy of the 2020 US presidential election, with the former president appearing not to accept his loss to Democrat candidate Joe Biden.
Five people were killed after a mob stormed the governmental building, following a tweet from Mr Trump saying: “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!””
Twitter's share price fell by 4.9pc today, Bloomberg reported, dropping below the $39.31 closing price on 1st April when Mr Musk made his offer to buy the social media site.
The Tesla chief executive tweeted last week that the deal was on hold amid speculation he was hoping to make a table bid for the social media site.
Mr Musk said he paused the deal over concerns about the number of fake accounts on Twitter, which the company pegs at 5pc of its 229m-strong active user base.
Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal posted a thread on the site this afternoon saying "we suspend over half a million spam accounts every day".
Mr Agrawal, who is widely expected to be replaced if Mr Musk completes his purchase of the social network, added that the number of spam accounts on Twitter could not be externally validated "given the critical need to use both public and private information (which we can’t share)."
Mr Musk replied to him with a single "poo" emoji.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 16, 2022