Blog site

Trump’s social media site quietly admits he’s Mastodon-based

To avoid a lawsuit, Donald Trump’s social media site quietly acknowledges that the computer code powering the platform is from Mastodon.

Trump’s “Truth Social” site now has a dedicated section called “open source,” which contains a Zip archive of Mastodon’s source code.

“Our goal is to support the open source community, whatever your political beliefs. That’s why the first place we go to find great software is the community, not the “Big Techs,” ”the site adds.


Truth Social created the section on November 12, two weeks after social media provider Mastodon threatened to sue Trump’s platform for violating its open source license.

Although Truth Social has yet to launch, a first test version launched in October and users immediately noticed that it had adopted several design elements from Mastodon’s software. But at the time, Truth Social made no attempt to credit Mastodon or publish the computer code behind it.

Since Mastodon is an open source software project, anyone can use it for free. But if you do, the software license requires that the code and any changes to your Mastodon platform be made public, allowing the entire Mastodon community to benefit. (This does not include the publication of user data or the disclosure of administrator access, however.)

“We publish our work for free in the first place is the idea that, as we give to platform operators, platform operators also give back to us by providing us with their improvements for us and everyone,” wrote Mastodon in a blog. post last month. However, Trump’s social media site had claimed that all of its source code was “proprietary” and controlled only by Truth Social.

In response, Mastodon sent a letter to Trump’s social media platform, demanding that its source code be released within 30 days or face legal action for copyright infringement. Mastodon founder Eugen Rochko now tells PCMag he is withholding any legal action.

Recommended by our editors

“We haven’t received any communication from them, but they’ve downloaded a ZIP archive of the source code, which seems to bring them into compliance so far,” Rochko said in an email.

However, it looks like the downloaded Zip archive is just a barebone version of the existing Mastodon source code which you can already find on Github. The archive itself is only 30MB. Nonetheless, Rochko said the Zip archives could “get more interesting” once Truth Social finally launches.

Expect Trump’s social media platform to officially arrive in the first quarter of next year. A beta launch of the site was also slated to take place in November, but it looks like Truth Social missed the original target date.

What's New Now to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning.","first_published_at":"2021-09-30T21:30:40.000000Z","published_at":"2021-09-30T21:30:40.000000Z","last_published_at":"2021-09-30T21:30:34.000000Z","created_at":null,"updated_at":"2021-09-30T21:30:40.000000Z"})" x-show="showEmailSignUp()" class="rounded bg-gray-lightest text-center md:px-32 md:py-8 p-4 font-brand mt-8 container-xs">
Get our best stories!

Sign up for What’s up now to get our best stories delivered to your inbox every morning.

This newsletter may contain advertising, offers or affiliate links. Signing up for a newsletter indicates your consent to our terms of use and privacy policy. You can unsubscribe from newsletters at any time.