Trump’s deal with Truth Social makes returning to Twitter complicated

These questions haunt us: Will Elon Musk’s bid to buy Twitter actually go through? If so, will former President Donald Trump be allowed back on the platform?

According to a new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the Trump Media & Technology Group’s (TMTG) intention to go public via SPAC, Trump has some regulations to follow regarding the competition to his fledgling social network. Namely, when Trump posts a “truth” on Truth Social (yes, posts are called “truths”), he cannot repost it to any other social network for six hours.

These restrictions are likely intended to drive traffic to Truth Social — the app’s daily active user counts pale in comparison to Twitter’s, and getting first dibs on Trump posts could be reason enough to onboard new users.

The document also notes that “[Trump] may make a post from a personal account related to political messaging, political fundraising or get-out-the-vote efforts on any social media site at any time.” But he is “generally obligated” to use Truth Social.

In any case, it’s in the former president’s best financial interest to sway users over to his app. Per this S-4 filing, he will own 46.8% of company voting power and 73.3 million shares of TMTG once it merges with the blank check company Digital World Acquisition Corp.

Trump was issued a permanent ban from Twitter in January 2021 for inciting violence when thousands of his supporters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol building. At the time, he had nearly 89 million followers on the platform, whereas currently on Truth Social, his “truths” reach 2.9 million people.

Elon Musk has said that if he does end up owning Twitter, he would want to unban Trump. But it’s unclear if Trump even wants to come back to Twitter — he says he doesn’t, but can he really resist the temptation?

So far, Truth Social has had a rocky start in its mission to “rival the liberal media consortium.” In February, the app hit the top of the App Store charts, but few users were actually able to join (we registered on February 21 and got off of the waitlist on April 23). Former Republican Congressman Devin Nunes, who is now CEO of TMTG, had promised the app would be “fully operational” by the end of March, but the app remains in testing and is only available on iOS.