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This won’t be my most popular take of all time. In fact, I can already see some of the comments in my head about how Twitter doesn’t deserve him, he’s doing just fine at Truth Social, Elon Musk isn’t doing enough to end censorship, Twitter is a Deep State project, and several other reactions that I might have agreed with before this weekend.
But the Twitter Files have changed things. They’ve reaffirmed trust among many Americans who have been skeptical of the possibility that Musk really CAN make things better at the once-great social platform. If a company is willing and able to expose the role played by many of its own employees and our own government in manipulating the results of the 2020 election (not to mention dozens of other examples of malfeasance with Big Tech/government collusion), there’s hope.
Arguably the most important aspect of this weekend’s release of the Twitter Files is that it has thus far been done without excuses made. Matt Taibbi didn’t try to justify any of the actions taken by Twitter employees and Musk hasn’t been softening the blow to his newly acquired company by downplaying the significance of the revelations. While one can argue that both of these characteristics are self-serving (Twitter is probably burning through servers right now faster than Hunter Biden can burn through crack rocks), it’s still refreshing to see the truth coming out.
After being reinstated, Donald Trump has not posted to Twitter. He’s remained loyal to Truth Social. That’s a good temporary business move, though long term it’s not as I’ll explain shortly. But it’s not good for America for one simple reason. Now more than ever, America NEEDS Trump’s voice in the conversation. One can say, “But he’s getting tens of thousands of ReTruths and Likes on his posts over there,” but here’s the thing. It’s an echo chamber and nobody outside of his base is seeing anything he’s posting. Unlike Twitter, Truth Social doesn’t let unauthenticated visitors see what’s being posted. Unlike Twitter, it doesn’t allow posts to be embedded. No matter how many “ReTruths” he gets on his closed platform, he’s not even reaching 3% of the people he could (SHOULD!) reach if he posted on Twitter.
Correction: Unauthenticated visitors CAN see posts on Truth Social. Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that they’re not actually goin to see them.
I’m not suggesting he should dump Truth Social. In fact, it would benefit him and Truth Social greatly if he were to post many things to Twitter. He could grow Truth Social more quickly by posting partial thoughts on Twitter, then linking to the full post on Truth Social. Or, he could use Truth Social as his venue for full rants while making Twitter his home for campaign-related posts as well as hot takes.
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Truth Social will never be Twitter. It’s barely on par with Gettr and Gab, both of which are superior in functionality and engagement. Donald Trump can keep talking to his most passionate base alone on Truth Social, or he can speak to the American people on Twitter.