On Trump’s Truth Social, anti-FBI sentiment is building with little oversight

Posts on Truth Social in which users call for civil war and advocate violence against the FBI remained online Friday, some of them days after they were initially posted, according to research by NBC News.

Truth Social, the Twitter-like social media platform backed by former President Donald Trump media and technology companywas thrust into the national spotlight on Thursday after it was discovered that Ricky Shiffer, the man who attempted to break into an Ohio FBI building with a nail gun while armed with a gun, had posted violent threats against the FBI on the platform.

Shiffer’s profile was no longer publicly available on Thursday evening, but posts by other users containing similar vitriol were still visible on Friday.

“Is the fbi provoking the 80 million patriots to start a civil war?” a user wrote a day before the attack. Another wrote: “They must be very careful!” They just might get what they’re looking for!

“The Democrats/FBI have declared war,” another user wrote on Thursday. “Lock and load. Take out those traders.

The vitriol directed at the FBI by Trump supporters continued to seep in, with Truth Social providing fertile ground. As of Friday afternoon, four of the top eight hashtags posted on Truth Social were critical of the FBI, including #EndTheFBI, #DefundTheFBI, and #FBIcorruption.

Truth Social did not respond to a request for comment.

Shiffer seemed post on Truth Social about his attempt to enter the FBI building on Thursday morning. Between the FBI Raid At Trump’s residence on Monday and Thursday, Shiffer repeatedly posted his anger at the FBI, urging people to prepare for “fight.”

Shiffer died in a confrontation with police.

Truth Social launched in February and debuted to a long waitlist and intense critical acclaim. Trump had touted the app as an alternative platform that he said would allow everyone to live without social media censorship. Its rollout, however, has had several technical issues, and over time users have discovered that there are limits to what is allowed on the platform. Non-profit consumer advocacy group Public Citizen published a report with results showing that Truth censored conversations about abortion rights and the Jan. 6 riot, for example.

After a slow start, Truth Social has attracted a small but dedicated userbase largely devoted to Trump, who began posting on the platform in late April. This led to a jolt of downloads which has since stalled, although certain times such as the January 6 hearings resulted in spikes in downloads.

Truth Social’s lax moderation – its moderation FAQ states that the app seeks to create a haven of free speech in the social media sphere and encourages your unfettered free speech – combined with its focused fan base on Trump has made it a hotbed for content that would typically be taken down on other platforms.

Like other social media platforms, Truth Social has terms of service that aim to prevent users from posting things like violent threats or facing consequences like suspension or a full ban.

Truth Social has said in the past that it uses artificial intelligence-based content moderation to enforce these rules, though NBC News’ research quickly revealed threats against the FBI dating back several days.

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