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Former President Donald Trump has reportedly hit a social media company with a cease-and-desist letter for misleading its users into thinking he is using its platform.
Social media app 2nd1st, which is using Trump's likeness to suggest he's posting on its platform, appears to have a conservative user base and calls itself a space for "uncensored news and chat."
“Specifically, it appears the 2nd1st application profile includes images implying President Donald J. Trump uses or otherwise endorses the application, which he does not,” Trump's attorney Nathan D. Groth wrote in the cease-and-desist letter obtained by the New York Post. “2nd1st’s unauthorized use of President Donald J. Trump’s name, image, and likeness is likely to lead individuals to believe that President Trump has authorized, sponsored, or approved such application which he does not.”
The app also features profiles for prominent Republicans, such as Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, as well as Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee. It's not clear if the profiles are fake or real.
When users download the 2nd1st app on the Apple app store, they are shown videos of Trump rallies and pushed to buy subscriptions on the platform for $4.99 per week that automatically renew.
Trump, who has been banned from most social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, has not joined any other new online platforms thus far. Instead, he largely pushes his message out to followers and the media through email blasts, as well as through surrogates, such as Donald Trump Jr. and others who are on social media.
The Trump legal team sent the cease-and-desist letter to the platform on Sept. 30 and gave it two days to resolve the matter.
As of Tuesday, Trump's likeness remains on the app, and his legal team does not appear to have taken any further action yet.
2nd1st appears to have been raking in thousands of dollars from conservative users and Trump supporters, the New York Post reported. However, it's not clear who is actually earning the money because the website has no information about its owners and creators.
The platform's information section on the Apple App Store says it is published by a company called Howly, which the United States Patent and Trademark Office records show is based in Wichita, Kansas.
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Original Author: Nihal Krishan