Trump Site Truth Social Plans AI Moderation Despite Emphasis on Free Speech
- Donald Trump has hired a tech company to help moderate his new social media site.
- Hive uses AI to scan platforms for banned content on the Truth Social site.
- It undermines Trump’s attempts to market it as a free-speech-centric, Big Tech-free platform.
Former President Donald Trump has touted his yet-to-launch social media site, Truth Social, as a free-speech alternative to what he claims is liberal censorship imposed by Big Tech.
But it looks like the site will have its own restrictions on what users can post, enforced by an AI-building tech company in San Francisco.
Fox Business reported Monday that Truth Social will be moderated by Hive, a company that scans sites for banned content using AI.
Company CEO Kevin Guo told Fox that Hive would monitor the site for sexually explicit content and posts containing violence, bullying, hate speech and spam.
Guo argued that his company’s moderation would not impinge on politics, the accusation that Trump and his allies have leveled against Facebook and Twitter.
“It’s not political,” Guo said. “It’s not stuff that’s left or right or has a political background. When you think about these big corporations, what they’ve set up around things like misinformation, what they deem that it is, for example, it is their prerogative.”
Guo was referring to policies on sites like Twitter and Facebook prohibiting the promotion of disinformation and misinformation that Trump and several of his allies have fallen victim to, leading to them being kicked off the platforms.
Devin Nunes, who resigned from the House of Representatives to lead the new site, told Fox Business that “we want to be very family-friendly, we want it to be a very safe place.”
He said that while Truth Social had a moderation policy, it would not restrict political speech.
“We’re not going to censor anyone because they have a different opinion on, say, a COVID vaccine,” Nunes said.
“That’s what the open internet is for – it should be about the free flow of debate and ideas around the world, so that people can learn from each other and debate with each other. “
In the past, Trump has been accused of exactly the behavior his platform seeks to prohibit. Critics say Trump has used his platforms to intimidate and insult opponents and push racist propaganda.
Twitter and Facebook banned Trump from their platforms following the Jan. 6 riot, citing their policies of encouraging violence rather than giving an explicit political motive.
It has since struggled to regain a foothold on mainstream platforms. The former president has in the past attributed his rise to power to his ability to speak directly to supporters on social media, bypassing negative coverage from news outlets.
A blog he started in 2021 to post statements was a flop and closed after a few weeks.
After announcing the planned launch of Truth Social in October, the site’s rollout has been shaky. Hackers gained access to an early version of the site and posted fraudulent and parody content using accounts under Trump’s name.
The use of a moderation policy appears to be an attempt to avoid the fate of other “free speech” apps, like Gab or Telegram, which have been inundated with extremist and other illicit content.