Trump's Truth Social Sues News Outlets Over Inaccurate Reporting
Trump's Truth Social Sues News Outlets Over Inaccurate Reporting

By Zachary Stieber

Inaccurate reports from 20 media outlets defamed Truth Social and its parent company, a new lawsuit from former President Donald Trump’s firm says.

The outlets reported on Nov. 13 that Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) and Truth Social had lost $73 million, citing a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

But the $73 million figure appeared nowhere in the filing.

The outlets engaged in defamation, the suit, filed in Sarasota County, Florida circuit court, alleges.

Some of the outlets corrected or otherwise updated their stories to reflect the fact they falsely reported the figure, but “none have retracted the defamatory articles, publicly apologized, or taken any other steps to ameliorate the continuing damage,” the suit states.

The outlets include the Guardian, Reuters, The Hill, the Daily Beast, Axios, New York Daily News, and CNBC.

Reuters, for instance, said that Truth Social “has lost &73 million since its launch in early 2022, a securities filing … showed on Monday.”

“Donald Trump’s Truth Social has reported a $73 million net loss since its February 2022 launch. The bleak financial report was documented in an SEC filing,” the New York Daily News claimed.

Many of the defendants also falsely reported that Truth Social lost $50 million in 2022.

TMTG actually made $50 million in 2022, when Truth Social was launched, according to the filing. The company reported a loss of $23 million for the six months through June 30, 2023.

TMTG did lose $59 million in its first year of operation, 2021, meaning it has lost about $32 million overall.

The filing was made as TMTG prepares to merge with Digital World Acquisition Corp. The companies announced a merger agreement in 2022, but the deal is not yet finalized.

President Trump started Truth Social after being banned from major social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

The false reports have harmed TMTG’s ability to raise additional capital because they were viewed by committed and potential investors, according to the suit.

Defendants all used the same figure, $73 million, indicating there was “a deliberate, malicious, and coordinated attack on TMTG and Truth Social,” the suit states.

The actions constitute defamation because the outlets published the false information despite knowing they were false, or with reckless disregard for the truth, the suit alleges.

“Defendants went forward with this lie, publishing it, because of their political animus and the opportunity to increase their own revenue streams,” it says. “The defamatory statements constitute defamation per se because the defamatory meaning is obvious on its face. Claiming that a company posted a $73 million loss when it did not is obviously defamatory because it creates a false, negative impression about the financial condition of the company.”

The defendants also committed injurious falsehood because the false reporting has caused direct pecuniary losses, including costs linked with lost business opportunities, according to the suit.

TMTG is seeking $1.5 billion and an injunction preventing the publication or republication of the false statements.

“Truth Social filed a defamation lawsuit that is likely unprecedented in history, incorporating twenty publications—and even more may be added,” Truth Social said in a statement. “All of them published the same false information about Truth Social and refused to fully retract their stories. To the Fake News outlets that think themselves above accountability: we’ll see you in court.”

A Reuters spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an email: “We dispute any allegation that Reuters defamed TMTG or intended to harm TMTG.” The spokesperson added: “We corrected our mistake as soon as TMTG made us aware of it, consistent with the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.”

The Hollywood Reporter declined to comment. The other defendants did not respond to inquiries.

“It will be difficult to demonstrate that this reporting was necessarily coordinated, but it does seem pretty clear that this story was reported with a rather careless approach to sourcing,” Jeffrey McCall, a communications professor at DePauw University, told The Epoch Times in an email.

President Trump’s willingness to hold the media accountable “should be a signal to media outlets to emphasize accuracy, even when reporting on a political figure for which they disapprove and have a long-running feud with,” he added.

Corrections

Some outlets still have the false information up, including in headlines.

The Guardian, for instance, falsely says in a headline and a lead paragraph that Truth Social has lost $73 million since it launched.

Rolling Stone has also not corrected the false information, keeping it in a headline and lead.

Forbes, the Daily Beast, Gizmodo and are among the other outlets that have not corrected the false figures.

Other outlets have issued corrections.

“Correction: This story has been updated to more accurately reflect TMTG’s net losses as disclosed on its balance sheet,” the Hollywood Reporter’s story reads.

“CORRECTION: A previous version of this article contained incorrect information about the net profits and losses reported by Truth Social since its launch,” the Hill said in its article.

“CORRECTION: A previous version of this article erroneously stated that Truth Social had lost $73 million. The story has been updated,” Salon reported.

The outlets did correctly note that doubt was expressed in the filing that TMTG “will have sufficient funds to meet its liabilities as they fall due” and that TMTG said “it may be difficult to raise additional funds through traditional financing sources in the absence of material progress toward completing its merger with Digital World.”

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