The Truth Social, the latest social media platform of former presidents, appears to have been sourced from derivative codes that could lead him to being sued.
Donald Trump, 45th leader of free world, has just finished his last failed venture and is now a tech mogul. The Don announced recently that he will launch his own platform. This is where MAGA sensibilities will reign supreme.
Many have already written about Truth Social, which is basically Trump's first love: Twitter. It allows you to post truths (aka tweets), re-truths (retweets) and also has a Truth Feed (Twitter account). Trump's traditional modus operandi is to take something already done, put his big, bold name on it and promise it will be better. This is almost standard.
It appears that Trump's new website is not only unoriginal in its concept, but also in its code. Vice News reported that Truth Social appears to have taken its digital DNA from Mastodon. This open-source alternative social media network is well-known for its emphasis on privacy and autonomy.
Early users of the platform noticed similarities in the code and noted the front-end similarities to Mastodon. O ne user took a screenshot from the HTML of Trump's new website, which clearly mentions Mastodon. Mastodon then had fun with it, tweeting a reference to Trump's apparent familiarity on their platform.
G/O Media could get $100 off the Apple iPad Pro 12.9 Latest and Greatest iPad
Gizmodo calls your tablet "basically a perfect piece hardware" Amazon: Buy it for $999
It is not unusual for other organizations or individuals to use Mastodons code. This is because Mastodons has an open-source policy. Mastodons terms and conditions allow users to create software forks, which are basically modified versions of Mastodons code. Truth Social seems to have taken the code, but did not follow its terms.
Mastodon leases its software using an AGPLv3 license. This basically states that anyone can use the code provided they acknowledge its origin and make copies or modifications available for inspection. Truth Social claims all source code is proprietary in its terms of service. However, it fails to mention that it took it from another source.
Vice spoke with Eugen Rochko, founder of Mastodon, who stated that Truth Socials' platform was based entirely on Mastodons code. This would indicate that there had been a violation of a license. Rochko also said that his team would be looking into the possibility.
He stated that he plans to seek legal advice on the matter. He said that compliance with the AGPLv3 license is important to me because it is the only basis on which other developers and I are willing to give away years worth of work.
Rochko reiterated much of the same to Gizmodo when he was reached by email. As of now, Truth Social appears to be using Mastodon code. These screenshots can be compared to any Mastodon installation. He said that it is also obvious from the tweets on Twitter. We reached out the Trump Media & Technology Group, the owner of Truth Social, for clarification and will update this post if we receive any responses.
You can see that Trump's new website looks very similar to Mastodon.
Trump seems to have made the worst Trump move: he took something free and used it. We will have to wait and see if Truth Social grows wings and becomes a new hub for online evilness. Or if it will be stifled by various controversies like a possible lawsuit from its digital parent.