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Donald Trump’s New Social Network Revealed To Be A Clone Of Another Site
By Alexa Heah, 25 Oct 2021
Image via Michael Candelori / Shutterstock.com
Last week, former US President Donald Trump announced he was launching an all-new social media platform, TRUTH Social. Despite the official launch date set for the first quarter of 2022, users have already found a way to create accounts on the site.
In fact, security on the site was so lax that Daily Dot reporter Mikael Thalen managed to snag the @donaldtrump handle, while The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell secured @mikepence.
Now, in an even more bizarre development, users who signed up on TRUTH Social have discovered that the site seems to be a clone of an open-source social networking platform, Mastodon. The network’s founder, Eugen Rochko, confirmed to VICE’s Motherboard that Trump’s site was “absolutely based on Mastodon.”
As an open-source site, Mastodon’s code can be used by anyone, as long as users comply with its licensing requirements. However, it doesn’t appear to be the case for Trump’s version, which has not made “the source code and any modifications to it available to the public.”
In fact, as per HuffPost, TRUTH Social called its source code proprietary, although it’s now been revealed to not have created its own code. Rochko told Talking Points Memo he would be seeking legal counsel on the matter and emphasized the importance of developers complying with Mastodon’s license.
“Compliance with our AGPL license is very important to me, as that is the sole basis upon which I and other developers are willing to give away years of work for free,” he said.
According to the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), an organization which enforces open-source licenses, TRUTH Social has 30 days to comply with Mastodon’s requirements. If it fails to do so, the site’s rights will “automatically and permanently” be terminated, said SFC representative Bradley Kuhn.
Will TRUTH Social comply with Mastodon’s licensing requirements in time? Or will its developers seek to give the site a complete do-over ahead of its scheduled open release? Let’s wait and see.
[via HuffPost, cover image via Michael Candelori / Shutterstock.com]
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