The Verge: Trump’s social network has 30 days to stop breaking the rules of its software license

The Verge: Trump’s social network has 30 days to stop breaking the rules of its software license. “The Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) says former President Donald Trump’s new social network violated a free and open-source software licensing agreement by ripping off decentralized social network Mastodon. The Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG) has 30 days to comply with the terms of the license before its access is terminated — forcing it to rebuild the platform or face legal action.”

The Verge: Donald Trump’s new social media SPAC, explained

The Verge: Donald Trump’s new social media SPAC, explained. “Trump announced Wednesday night that he has a new company called Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) and that he would be merging this new company with a SPAC called Digital World Acquisition Company (DWAC). If completed, the deal would turn Trump’s new media company into one that’s publicly traded on the Nasdaq. And it would give TMTG enough money to get a new Twitter clone off the ground called ‘Truth.’ The surprise deal is already turning DWAC into a meme stock, and it raises a fair number of questions.” I promise I will not let this particular topic take over the newsletter, but I will always have time for thorough, cogent explanations of financial/investment issues.

Vice: Mastodon’s Founder Says Trump’s New Social Network Is Just Mastodon

Vice: Mastodon’s Founder Says Trump’s New Social Network Is Just Mastodon. “Mastodon is a piece of open-source software that people can use to create their own social networks. The platform has a timeline style similar to Twitter. Whereas some people have moved to Mastodon for a social network experience away from more established, Big Tech companies, Neo-Nazis and other extremists have also used the platform.”

Pew: Americans who relied most on Trump for COVID-19 news among least likely to be vaccinated

Pew: Americans who relied most on Trump for COVID-19 news among least likely to be vaccinated. “Americans who relied most on former President Donald Trump and the White House coronavirus task force for COVID-19 news in the early days of the pandemic are now among those least likely to have been vaccinated against the virus, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.”

HuffPost: Trump Insiders Are Quietly Paying Teen Memers For Posts

HuffPost: Trump Insiders Are Quietly Paying Teen Memers For Posts. “In the fever swamps of Instagram, a network of right-wing meme accounts run by teenage boys and young men has erupted into an advertising powerhouse reaching millions. These memers — who regularly post far-right conspiracy theories, anti-vaccine propaganda and other incendiary clickbait — first caught the attention of obscure brands selling cheap MAGA merch, who started paying them to display ads to their rapidly growing conservative audiences. The money wasn’t great, as a few memers told HuffPost last summer, but it still felt like a big deal to watch their Instagram pages blossom into mini businesses. Little did they know, members of Donald Trump’s inner circle would soon come knocking.”

CNET: Trump’s tweets blocked for election misinformation still spread to other sites

CNET: Trump’s tweets blocked for election misinformation still spread to other sites. “NYU researchers analyzed tweets from Trump that Twitter flagged for misinformation between Nov. 1, 2020, and Jan. 8, 2021. They also identified public posts on Facebook, Instagram and Reddit that contained the same message as the Trump tweets. While limiting engagement with Trump’s tweets did curb its spread on Twitter, the same messages were posted more often on Facebook, Instagram and Reddit than tweets that just included a warning label or weren’t restricted, researchers found.”

AL: As Cullman prepares for Trump rally, city declares COVID state of emergency

AL: As Cullman prepares for Trump rally, city declares COVID state of emergency. “With Cullman Regional experiencing overcrowding due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Cullman will be providing more first responders to this weekend’s Alabama GOP rally. The Cullman City Council passed a resolution during a special called meeting Thursday morning to declare a State of Emergency due to threat that COVID-19 continues to pose to the city’s residents.”

Vice: Team Trump’s ‘Free Speech’ Platform Has a Child Abuse Problem

Vice: Team Trump’s ‘Free Speech’ Platform Has a Child Abuse Problem. “Gettr, the pro-Trump Twitter alternative launched last month by close Trump adviser Jason Miller, is allowing users to share child exploitation images. New research from the Stanford Internet Observatory’s Cyber Policy Center has laid bare the dangers of the platform’s almost complete lack of moderation and identified more than a dozen child abuse images being shared by Gettr users.”

PsyPost: New research indicates Trump contributed to Americans embracing beliefs that neutralized social distancing norms

PsyPost: New research indicates Trump contributed to Americans embracing beliefs that neutralized social distancing norms. “People who endorsed President Donald Trump’s denials of the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic were more likely to adopt justifications for deviant behavior related to social distancing, according to new research conducted during the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak. The study has been published in the scientific journal Deviant Behavior.”

Mother Jones: New Report Shows How Trump Keeps Buying Facebook Ads

Mother Jones: New Report Shows How Trump Keeps Buying Facebook Ads. “In partnership with Media Matters, the liberal media watchdog, the new Real Oversight Board report found that even though Trump has been banned from Facebook until 2023, his PAC has run at least 251 ads on the platform just since June, with Facebook earning more than $15,000 in revenue from the Save America Joint Fundraising Committee. While many of these Trump posts include content labels applied by Facebook designed to fight disinformation, earlier Media Matters analysis has found that posts with labels are interacted with 2.6 times more than posts without them.”

New York Times: Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg’s Partnership Did Not Survive Trump

New York Times: Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg’s Partnership Did Not Survive Trump. “To achieve its record-setting growth, the company had continued building on its core technology, making business decisions based on how many hours of the day people spent on Facebook and how many times a day they returned. Facebook’s algorithms didn’t measure if the magnetic force pulling them back to Facebook was the habit of wishing a friend happy birthday, or a rabbit hole of conspiracies and misinformation.”

The Daily Beast: Trumpworld App Is Bankrolled by Fugitive Chinese Billionaire

The Daily Beast: Trumpworld App Is Bankrolled by Fugitive Chinese Billionaire. “On Thursday, [Jason] Miller announced the launch of ‘Gettr,’ a new social media app aimed at conservatives that promises to be ‘cancel-free.’ Trump fans wary of social media censorship on more prominent platforms like Twitter and Facebook started to sign up for the platform after Politico reported on the existence of the new site. What’s not made clear to Gettr’s new users, though, is that the site received initial funding from a foundation owned by Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui and his family.”

Politico: Team Trump quietly launches new social media platform

Politico: Team Trump quietly launches new social media platform. “Former President Donald Trump’s team quietly launched a new social media platform on Thursday, billing it as an alternative to Big Tech sites. The platform, called GETTR, advertised its mission statement as ‘fighting cancel culture, promoting common sense, defending free speech, challenging social media monopolies, and creating a true marketplace of ideas.’”