TRUTH Social: Donald Trump's new social network defaced within hours, criticised for unpermitted trademark use

Former US President Donald Trump only announced his new social media platform yesterday, and it has already been defaced and held up to ridicule.

TRUTH Social is Trump's attempt to deal with a permanent ban from Twitter and a Facebook ban that runs until 2023, both bans relating to the January 6 riot in Washington DC.

"I created TRUTH Social and TMTG to stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech," said Trump, who is also the chairman of TMTG.

"We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favourite American President has been silenced."

The platform is currently in beta, and users have to sign-up to get an invite on the TRUTH Social website. Within hours, however, users found a public sign-up link allowing them to create accounts, including one in Trump's name.

The pinned 'TRUTH' on that account, the equivalent of a pinned tweet on Twitter, had a picture of a pig defecating, a popular meme image called 'Pig Poop Balls'.

Eventually someone at the company realised there had been a flurry of activity and the accounts were banned and the link removed.

By searching on the site's icon, however, another test site was found allowing Washington Post tech reporter Drew Harwell to create an account.

"Smart people on the Internet ran a search of its favicon and found another test domain, which I was just able to create a fake account for. This security is ... not great," he wrote.

"They loaded up hundreds of old Trump posts (sorry, Truths) and have been Favouriting and ReTruthing them. Love to leave my test software out in the open for several months.

"I promise you, it is possible to build a website without exposing all of this on the public Internet," he concluded.

But that was only the start.

Social media users were quick to point out that despite its "open, free and honest" pitch, the new platform's terms of service states that users can't "disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the site".

It also bans users for using too many capital letters, a hallmark of Trump's tweets before he was banned, and reserves the rights to "refuse, restrict access to, limit the availability or, or disable" a user's access.

"Trump has vilified other tech companies for banning his accounts using the same right," The Washington Post reported.

As part of its listing on Apple's App Store, the platform also chose to create fake posts from companies using their logos, including Chevrolet and the New York Times.

That prompted the Times to say the use of their trademarks "is unauthorised and we've been in touch with them".

Other users noticed that the site closely resembled Mastodon, an open-source decentralised social network that allows people to set up their own social networks.

Eugen Rochko, founder of Mastodon told Vice's Motherboard that "based on the screenshots I have seen, it absolutely is based on Mastodon".

Rochko then told The Washington Post that the site itself may violate the open source licensing rules that permits others to use it.

Those rules require developers to share modifications and link to the original source code, with Rochko contacting the company's legal representatives about it.

After beta testing for the rest of this year, a wider rollout is expected in the first quarter of 2022, the company said.

Trump has previously created a site called 'From the Desk of Donald J Trump' to communicate with his supporters after his social media ban, but that lasted only a month before shutting down.

GETTR, a Twitter-like platform created by Jason Miller, a former senior advisor to the ex-President, was created in July for similar purposes to TRUTH social.

In its first few months it suffered from hacks and was inundated by Isis supporters and child pornography images.

Earlier this month Trump sued Twitter, asking a federal judge in Florida to request the platform restore his account.