Trump’s free speech social site will censor posts with artificial intelligence

Truth Social, to be launched late next month, will set out to try and rival other Twitter alternatives such as GETTR and Gab

Tom Fenton
Tuesday 25 January 2022 18:47
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Donald Trump’s new social media platform, set up following the former President’s ban from Twitter, is already facing backlash on the right for its reported rules around censorship.

Truth Social is due to launch on 22 February (President’s Day), with promises of being a platform for “free speech” that will “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech” – according to Mr Trump himself.

However, as Fox Business first reported, its partnership with a sophisticated AI firm – boasting tech which is capable of automatically detecting unsavory posts and images – has led to some backlash online.

Technology developed by San Francisco company Hive is going to be utilised by Truth Social, ostensibly to locate and remove “sexually-explicit content, and posts that include violence, hate speech, bulling and spam,” CEO Kevin Guo told Fox Business.

Mr Guo also pledged that his company will try not to “censor any political talk”, although what exactly constitutes “political talk” remains open to interpretation for the time being

Hive has a history of supplying its technologies to right-leaning Twitter alternatives, as last year, it helped Parler return to the Apple Store.

Having previously been banned for failing to moderate violent and hateful speech, Hive’s co-sign, and pledge to use its AI capabilities to remove such content moving forwards, was enough to convince Apple to reverse its decision.

Rather ironically, the launch of Truth Social comes almost exactly a year after Mr Trump was officially banned from Twitter.

Despite being one of the platform’s most followed accounts, the 75-year-old was removed indefinitely for the risk he posed of inciting further violence on 6 January 2021.

Truth Social released a prompitional video back in October last year

Truth Social is one of several conservative ‘Twitter alternatives’ that has been set up over the past year or so, with all of them seemingly aiming to be the free speech refuge of choice for those who are banned from mainstream networks.

While the likes of Parler and Gab largely failed to inspire, GETTR – a Twitter clone set up by former Trump aide Jason Miller – did look well-placed to become the free speech platform of choice for many on the right.

Jason Miller, founder of GETTR

That was until comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan, just weeks after joining the platform with a splash of publicity, called GETTR out for some of its allegedly shady practices.

In such a climate, Truth Social will be hoping to step into the vacuum and establish true staying power, unlike its rival platforms which burned bright for only a short period of time.

Nevertheless, in order to do so the social network will surely need to position itself as a champion of free speech, a reputation that may be hard to maintain with the surreptitious influence of Hive working overtime in the background.

“We want to be very family-friendly, we want this to be a very safe place, and we are focused on making sure any illegal content is not on the site,” Truth Social CEO Devin Nunes told Fox Business.

The site describes itself as “America’s ‘Big Tent’ social media platform that encourages an open, free, and honest global conversation without discriminating against political ideology.” Time will tell whether that message resonates with Mr Trump’s loyal supporters.

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