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Trump launches his very own social media site

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Former President Donald Trump said he’s launching a new media company on Wednesday with its own social media platform.

Trump says his goal in launching the Trump Media & Technology Group and its “Truth Social” app is to create a rival to the Big Tech companies that have shut him out and denied him the megaphone that was paramount to his national rise.

“We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced,” he said in a statement. “This is unacceptable.”

TMTG has not set its sights low. In addition to the Truth Social app, which is expected to soft-launch next month with a nationwide rollout early next year, the company says it is planning a video-on-demand service dubbed TMTG+ that will feature entertainment programming, news and podcasts.

Truth Social’s terms of service, meanwhile, bar users from annoying any of the site’s employees and from statements that “disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the Site.” It was not immediately clear who the “us” in that statement refers to.

In a release, the new venture announced it had been created through a merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp., and said it seeks to become a publicly listed company.

DWA said it has raised roughly $293 million in cash, which it will use to grow TMTG’s ventures. Among the company’s biggest shareholders are several institutional investors, including Lighthouse Investment Partners, D. E. Shaw & Co., and Radcliffe Capital Management, according to an SEC filing. DWA said more details about the deal will be disclosed in upcoming filings.

The deal has an initial enterprise value, a measure that takes into account a company’s total debts and assets, of $875 million, according to the release. It still requires the approval of shareholders of both DWA and TMTG, as well as regulators.

Shares of Digital World Acquisition soared 94% to $19.32 in morning trading.

-AP-

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