Truth Social: After Kerrisdale Capital released a short report targeting Digital World Acquisition, the SPAC that seeks to merge with former President Donald Trump’s Truth Social, the stock dropped 9% on Wednesday.
Kerrisdale is in a short position in Digital World, expecting the stock to fall to $10, a potential 78 percent drop from Wednesday’s levels.
This viewpoint is based on Kerrisdale’s conviction that DWAC would fail to complete its merger with Truth Social, as well as the fact that Truth Social’s potential to establish an alternative social media platform has been questioned due to poor implementation.
“Given the clearly misleading statements in DWAC’s registration statement, the status of TMTG’s operations at the time the merger agreement was executed, the cast of characters seeking to consummate that merger, and those individuals’ flagrant disregard for SEC rules and regulations,” Kerrisdale said, “DWAC’s stock has much further to fall.”
According to Kerrisdale, the SEC can and will use DWAC as an example to convey a message to market players as it cracks down on SPACs, which allow firms to go public with less disclosures than a regular IPO.
According to Kerrisdale, Digital World is already under investigation by the SEC’s enforcement section. “DWAC isn’t just another problematic 2021 SPAC; it’s a poster child for some of the most egregious abuses the investment vehicle has engendered,” Kerrisdale added.
Even if a deal between Truth Social and Digital World is reached, Kerrisdale believes the company’s present valuation is “absurd” and its financial projections are “based on the flimsiest of assumptions.”
According to the short assessment, a Pro-forma market valuation of $8.2 billion is excessively expensive due to the lack of financial performance, a bug-riddled debut of the social networking platform last month, and a flurry of management departures early in the company’s existence.
“Truth Social’s subscriber projections are based on an unreliable Politico poll, while the Truth Social streaming video-on-demand service is supposed to miraculously win 50% of Netflix’s US subscriber base by 2026 by streaming ‘non-woke’ entertainment without any explanation as to how it will afford billions in content,” Kerrisdale said.
Digital World’s stock was already under pressure before the short report, as Elon Musk tries to buy Twitter. DWAC’s stock is down 75% from its all-time high of $175.
Trump’s Truth Social Media Platform
Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), an American media and technology firm launched in October 2021 by former US President Donald Trump, created Truth Social (also stylized as TRUTH Social).
Mastodon, a free and open-source distributed social network, is the foundation of the Truth Social platform. The service is only available through an iPhone app, and it is only available to residents of the United States and Canada.
On February 21, 2022, the service went live. It has had serious and chronic scaling issues from the start, resulting in a smaller user base than expected.
After being banned from Facebook and Twitter in 2021 as a result of the 2021 attack on the United States Capitol, former US President Donald Trump discussed the possibility of creating a new social media site.
Trump started ” a web page where he posted short tweet-like announcements, in May 2021; USA Today reported in early June that it had been shut down after less than a month, with Trump’s senior assistant Jason Miller indicating that it would not be returning.
Truth Social Announcement
Trump Media & Technology Group published a press release on October 20, 2021, announcing the platform’s public launch in “the first quarter of 2022.” In November 2021, it was supposed to go into limited beta for iOS in Apple’s App Store.
Moreover, despite the fact that it did not complete its beta testing on time, Trump stated in December 2021 that “invited visitors” were already utilizing the beta system.
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A person claiming to be a member of the hacking collective Anonymous used Shodan to find domains associated with the company hours after the press announcement, eventually uncovering what looked to be a publicly available mobile beta of the service.
The URL, which allowed users to join up for the platform and use it, was disclosed on social media. Trolling, spoof accounts, and rants and memes were all started by users. Users might sign up using the usernames of well-known people like Trump, Mike Pence, and Jack Dorsey. Later, the link was taken down.
Truth Social Launch Date
On February 16, 2022, Trump published the first post on the platform. TMTG CEO Devin Nunes indicated at the time that he didn’t expect the platform to be fully open to the public until late March. In February 2022, a 500-user beta test was underway.
Truth Social was published on Apple iOS on February 21, 2022, and quickly rose to the top of the App Store’s top ranks.
Due to a large backlog of registrants, about 500,000 persons who sought to register as users were automatically waitlisted after installing the program.
During the first week, the app was downloaded 872,000 times, but a month later, new user signups had dropped to 60,000 each week. Weekly visitors to Truthsocial.com plummeted from 6 million to less than 2 million within the same time period.
The British automobile solar power firm Trailer claimed that the Truth Social app’s logo was too similar to its “T” emblem when it was launched.
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The platform has been chastised for its poor performance at launch, with users attempting to register being placed in a queue and protracted outages.
The Washington Post called the product introduction “a fiasco” a day later. Newsweek reported one week after the app’s launch that some early adopters were losing interest owing to low user numbers and limited engagement, while others were prepared to stick with it to see if things would improve.
Truth Social Software
Truth Social is highly influenced by Twitter. Users can create postings and share other people’s posts. The Truth Social platform makes use of a customized version of Mastodon, a free and open-source social network hosting software, but it lacks a few features such as polls and posts visibility choices.
The Software Freedom Conservancy said on October 21, 2021, that they accused Truth Social of violating Mastodon’s AGPLv3 license by not making its source code available to all users.
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Truth Social was then formally requested by the Mastodon developers to comply with the rules of the software license. Truth Social released its source code as a ZIP file on its website on November 12, 2021.
The service was only offered via an iPhone app as of April 2022, with no online interface or Android app available.