Donald Trump's Truth Social owes US$1.6 million to web hosts - Fox report

Truth Social and Donald Trump
Unsurprisingly, people seem to be enjoying the dispute. Photo credit: Getty Images

Former US President and reality TV star Donald Trump's social media future may yet again be up in the air amid reports Truth Social could be in significant financial trouble.

According to a Fox Business report, the company is in a "bitter battle" with its web host RightForge, with a bill of around US$1.6 million (NZ$2.6m) unpaid.

Trump set up the new platform after being banned from Twitter for his role in the violence of the January 6, 2021 insurrectionist attack on the Capitol in Washington, DC.

RightForge was set up to provide hosting for right-wing causes - a reaction to some web hosts pulling websites belonging to those on the far-right of the political spectrum.

But the relationship has soured, and Fox Business is reporting the hosting company says Truth Social has stopped paying its contractually obligated monthly payments, according to "three people with direct knowledge of the matter".

"These people say RightForge contends that Truth Social has made just three payments and ceased making any payments since around March," Fox Business reported.

"RightForge claims that Truth Social owes it around US$1.6 million and is threatening legal action to recoup the money, these people add."

Martin Avila, the RightForge CEO, refused to comment on "private matters" but didn't deny there was a disagreement, according to the report.

"Our founding vision is to make a second internet to support American ideas online," he said in a statement.

"RightForge believes in the mission of President Trump's free speech platform and wish to continue supporting the president in his media endeavours." 

A lot of responses on Twitter, unsurprisingly, have included schadenfreude and hilarity.

"Should they have expected anything else? Isn't that a recurring theme with Trump?" one asked.

"Contractors not paid, attorneys not paid, RightForge not paid, campaign vendors not paid, and the list goes on apparently. This is who the Republicans trust. Disgraceful."

Another channelled the former host of The Apprentice.

"The biggest web hosting bill you've ever seen. Yuge. People are saying there's never been a hosting bill this big," the tweet said.

"They're saying Wrong RightForge is a crooked operation. This is a very bad deal. I have to say we're going to be looking at this very closely. A bad deal. SAD."

A third suggested it showed a failure by those in charge of the hosting company.

"I can't fathom how incredibly stupid the leadership of RightForge could be thinking they were ever going to be paid in full by the biggest grifter in US history.

"They deserve every bad thing that happens to them as a result of their trust in Trump."

Truth Social has been involved in controversy from almost the moment it was first announced.

The site was defaced, accounts belonging to prominent people were claimed by randoms and the author of the code the site is based on threatened legal action because it wasn't following the licence rules.

The rollout was also chaotic, with a huge waiting list. Despite launching months ago, it's still only available in the United States, with no indication when, or if, it will roll out overseas.