Donald Trump (left) and a phone displaying his social media app, Truth Social.
Donald Trump (left) and a phone displaying his social media app, Truth Social.Brandon Bell/Getty Images/Christoph Dernbach/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • There were instances where Trump's social posts were kept from being seen.

  • The posts talked about the January 6 committee hearings.

  • It has been said that the site is a beacon of free speech.

TRUTH Social has marketed itself as a free speech haven that cherishes free expression.

Since it partially launched in February, it has removed or limited the visibility of users' posts, often without explanation, according to a new investigation by Public Citizen.

Content about the US House investigation of January 6, 2021, attacks on the Capitol and posts about abortion were removed. It was blocked by conservatives.

The author of the report told Insider that she started experimenting with posts on TRUTH Social after hearing that people were being kicked off the platform for expressing anti- Trump or progressive sentiment.

Within the first 15 minutes, it became obvious to me that things were being blocked.

As part of the experiment, Hunt-Majer wrote "abortion is healthcare" in a post and soon found it was being "shadow banned" on the website, meaning that she couldn't find it anywhere on the website. The post was hidden and she didn't know why.

The abortion post appeared five days after Hunt- Majer posted a Tik Tok about the experience. The findings of TRUTH Social were published Tuesday.

A post she wrote comparing firearms regulations to abortion and birth control was banned by TRUTH Social, as was a post she wrote about a Georgia election worker.

The Public Citizen report found that there was more than one blocked content. Users found that a post about a man in favor of gun ownership had been banned. The site wouldn't allow a link to an article on the far right website.

Hunt- Majer tried to publish a quote that criticized US support for Ukraine, but it was unsuccessful.

Insider asked TRUTH Social how it moderates content, but TRUTH Social didn't reply immediately. The company does not, and never will, shadow ban its users according to its website policies.

The company's website states that it has to engage in some moderation to prevent illegal and other prohibited content. Users can be banned from the site if they threaten violence, post porn, or violate intellectual property rights.

The company acknowledges that the process is not error-proof and that it identifies and corrects any mistakes that are made.

The policies clash with the company's practices.

There is a reality of what is going on on the platform that doesn't match up with what they are saying in the public.

She believed that some of the shadow banning was due to incompetence.

"From using the platform, just trying to get on, you can tell it's being strung together by a bunch of people who aren't capable of putting a social media site together," she said. It's not easy to use.

TRUTH Social launched this year

Since Trump's removal from social media, there have been a few conservative alternatives.

In the past year, Trump has used TRUTH Social to mock President Joe Biden, endorse Republicans in the 2022, and rant about the January 6 Committee.

He has 3.4 million followers, which is less than the 88.7 million he had when he was on the social networking site.

Journalists and Republicans share the screen grabs of his comments on social media. Even if he were allowed, Trump wouldn't return to the social media platform.

Content moderation is a difficult animal that social media companies often say they want to keep an open dialogue on their websites.

She said that people don't want to be on a platform where there is a lot of hate speech.

There are prohibitions on "offensive or sexual content." It also prohibits depictions of violence, threats of violence or criminal activity.

Social media companies have faced backlash over censorship

Republicans complain that they are being blocked or suspended more often than Democrats, and accuse employees of having an anti-conservative bias. According to data compiled by the nonpartisan research organization OpenSecrets, the majority of the employees who work on the social networking site have donated to Democrats.

The New York Post's reporting on emails from the laptop of Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, was taken down by the social media site. The New York Times and Washington Post confirmed the authenticity of the emails that were on the laptop.

Democrats seethed at social media giants and pushed them to be more strict about controlling hate speech.

Hunt- Majer said that she takes issue with how platforms apply their rules inconsistently and that they have provisions about hate speech.

Hunt- Majer said that those platforms alert a user when their post is taken down and provide an appeals process. Content moderation should be transparent, consistent, and carry some nuances, according to Public Citizen.

Hunt-Majer is concerned that TRUTH Social users will think they're in a forum that welcomes diverse perspectives in an open forum, but will instead be in an echo chamber that will cause violence.

She said it was a recipe for radicalism and extremists.

Business Insider has an article on it.