Alex Gleason leaves TruthSocial, takes Soapbox entity to Jack Dorsey-backed Nostr

 July 18, 2023

TruthSocial Head of Engineering Alex Gleason said Monday he is resigning from the social media company and will partner his own company, Soapbox, with Nostr, a Jack Dorsey-endorsed Twitter alternative that claims to be decentralized.

Former President Donald Trump formed TruthSocial in February 2022 after he was banned from most major media platforms because of the Capitol breach.

TruthSocial has been touted as "free from political discrimination" and an alternative to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube's censorship-oriented policies.

The app uses Soapbox as its front-end technology, and this is not expected to change with Gleason's departure.

Disappointing growth

Trump and others at TruthSocial were hopeful that the platform would rapidly grow in usership, reacjonh over 50 million by 2024 and 81 million by 2026.

Instead, the platform only has around 2 million active users, a fraction of Facebook's 2.91 billion and Twitter's 450 million.

According to Axios, TruthSocial's problem is that it can't grow without investment, and its attempt to merge with Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC) and get a $1 billion infusion of cash has stalled, mired in an investigation into whether DWAC's CEO and Trump had discussed a potential merger before DWAC itself went public, a no-no that if true could have violated federal securities laws.

It's possible that either TruthSocial or DWAC will walk away from the deal after 20 months, which either one can do without penalty, Axios said.

Trump reinstated

Another possible reason TruthSocial hasn't grown much is that Trump was eventually reinstated on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, even if he hasn't gone back on Twitter since that time.

Twitter was also taken over by Elon Musk, who has a more free speech philosophy (even if there have been some major hiccups in the implementation).

People tend to be creatures of habit in their social media use, so it seems that many are reluctant to change even to a platform that is more aligned with their values and beliefs.

While Trump touts TruthSocial as the site he owns, people probably know that he doesn't have a lot of skin in the game, i.e. his own money on the line.

They know they can support him in other ways, like with campaign contributions, that benefit him and them more than making a TruthSocial account.

The future of the platform is more tenuous now than it was before Gleason's departure, but the consequences of its success or failure do not seem dire at this point.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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