Hackers Lay claimed that Former President Donald J. Trump declared that he would start a “media powerhouse.” Its flagship operation would be Truth Social, a Twitter-like social network that would “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech,” he said in a statement.
Within two hours, hackers had gained access to a private version of the social network, creating fake accounts for Mr. Trump; the far-right personality Stephen K. Bannon; Ron Watkins, the QAnon conspiracy theorist; and Twitter’s chief executive, Jack Dorsey, who barred Mr. Trump from Twitter after his supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.
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Former President Donald J. Trump declared on Wednesday night that he would begin a “media powerhouse.” Its flagship operation could be Reality Social, a Twitter-like social community that may “stand as much as the tyranny of Huge Tech,” he stated in a press release.
Inside two hours, hackers had gained entry to a personal model of the social community, creating faux accounts for Mr. Trump; the far-right character Stephen Ok. Bannon; Ron Watkins, the QAnon conspiracy theorist; and Twitter’s chief government, Jack Dorsey, barred Mr. Trump from Twitter after his supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Utilizing a false “Donald trump” account, hackers posted photos of defecating pigs, wrote expletive-laced rants aimed toward Mr. Dorsey, and inquired about the whereabouts of the previous first girl Melania Trump. In addition, photographs of the hackers’ handiwork had been circulated on different social media platforms.
In interviews on Thursday, the hackers, who’re affiliated with Nameless, the free hacking collective, stated the trouble was a part of their “online struggle in opposition to hate.”
After a several-year hiatus, Nameless has re-emerged as a digital power in opposition to the far proper. The collective recently took down a Texas Republican website after the passage of an anti-abortion invoice, changing the positioning with a Deliberate Parenthood fund-raiser. And final month, Nameless was behind a breach of Epik, an web providers firm fashionable with the far proper, dumping 220 gigabytes of knowledge, together with private particulars of its prospects.
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“It took about two hours for them to realize something was going on,” Cottle said. “They initially reacted by banning all of these parody accounts that were being created, and shortly after they pulled everything offline.”
Anonymous has been focus on its push against racism, neo-nazism and hate speech, Cottle said of his reading behind the hack.
“But other than that, this was just a whole bunch of fun and chaos,” he said. “The opportunity presented itself,” Cottle said.
Cottle didn’t find the platform’s security to be much of a challenge, saying vulnerabilities could be found by simply looking up the source code.
“It’s just using standard open-source software called Mastodon,” Cottle said. Mastodon is a self-hosted social networking service. “I’d say it’s about as secure as any other Mastodon instance.”
Truth Social isn’t formally scheduled to launch until the first quarter of 2022, but some people found a URL that allowed users to sign up anyway, and mischief makers have been wreaking havoc with the “donaldjtrump” account. It is, however, unclear if that was actually Trump’s account or if someone simply set up the account using the same handle that the former president previously used on Twitter.
Names of prominent political figures do not appear to be protected so far on Truth. Drew Harwell, a tech reporter for the Washington Post, noted he was able to secure an account under the name of “mikepence.” And Mikael Thalen, a writer for the Daily Dot, was able to secure the handle “donaldtrump.”
The Bottom Line
While being able to post under well-known names was certainly the most noticeable hiccup, there are plenty of other issues with the site that people have noted. For example:
- Trump’s social media site seemingly allows header and avatar images of up to 100 megabytes, which could result in some notable storage issues. (Twitter allows images only up to five megabytes.)
- One of the rules of the site bans “excessive use of capital letters.” Trump frequently posted in all caps before he was banned from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat.
- Another rule bars users from disparaging the site, which would seem to run counter to the free speech mandate Trump alluded to when unveiling the site.
“I created TRUTH Social and TMTG to stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech,” Trump said in a press release. “We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American president has been silenced. This is unacceptable.”