In today’s Exponential Investor

  • How free is your speech?
  • Trump real motives
  • TMTG pumping

What is “freedom of speech”?

In the United States it’s enshrined in the constitution as the “First Amendment” which reads,

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It’s broad, wide reaching, and it covers people… and the press. But, in practice, does it mean anything at all?

The First Amendment in real life

It’s widely known and accepted that different factions of the media carry different agendas based on their ownership and the powers that control those entities.

We also know that public access, social “media” sites also carry their own agendas, political slants and biases.

We know this because former President Donald Trump is still banned on Twitter and Facebook.

The ban comes because the people running the social media platforms were of the view that Trump was undermining the political process, inciting violence, and generally breaching their terms of acceptable use policies. Also, many accounts related to the former president were blocked, banned, removed from platforms such as Twitch, Reddit, YouTube and Discord.

Freedom of speech comes with some caveats. Take things like inciting violence, hatred, racism and intent to harm, for instance. These are all quite nasty things that aren’t accepted as free speech.

You can’t walk into a public building in a predominately black neighbourhood, in your finest KKK outfit and preach about wanting to kill everyone in there. That’s not freedom of speech, that’s a hate crime.

So, there’s a balance really that most of us know right from wrong.

But when the lines are blurry, when there’s a grey area, who really has the power to decide what you can or can’t say?

It seems that the answer is: social media companies.

Sure, Trump may be challenging. Yes, he may evoke vociferous reactions from his staunch supporters. But let’s also not forget he was the president of the United States for four years, which means he actually did represent hundreds of millions of Americans.

And, in a world where most left-leaning social media companies want to persist with bans on Trump because they don’t agree with his views, his actions or what he has to say… then how free are you – really – on those platforms to say what you think?

Also, at what point does everyone wake up and realise that the narratives controlled by those who control these social media companies are equally as “dangerous” as Trump may be perceived to be, it’s just that they’re on the other side of the coin?

Trump’s SPAC play

It’s always worth thinking about issues like freedom of speech, your own freedoms and the access to a voice that you have or believe to have.

The reason I bring it up today, is because “media” as we know it is undergoing quite a radical change.

Social media companies, people now see for what they really are – a vehicle for their founders and executives to mould public attention and behaviour to their own causes. And to just sell advertising.

People are awake to their biases and political slants.

That’s why we’ve seen a rise in alternative platforms, like Signal and Telegram. These are platforms that allow people to message and create communities without influence or manipulation from a centralised authority.

The issues with social media are also now being fought on the front line (so to speak) by former President Trump.

Trump is launching “Truth Social”, a new social media platform which is going to “stand up to the tyranny of big tech.”

This in itself is news you that will see plastered everywhere. And the idea of it is kind of amusing. But the really interesting part of this, which shows Trump’s true reasons, is how Trump is launching Truth Social.

You see, Truth Social will be part of Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG). The irony of standing up to tyrannical big tech while launching a tyrannical big tech company is not lost on us…

Nonetheless, TMTG is planning to become a publicly listed company by launching to market and raising funds via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

The SPAC vehicle is a popular way for companies to hit the public capital markets with speed and hype. While the structure and process of using a SPAC is innovative, and exciting, you can’t help but think that TMTG launching a new social site via a SPAC is destined for disaster.

Truth Social will get a lot of users. It will be popular amongst conservatives in the United States. But as an investment, the TMTG is really just Trump doing what Trump does best… trying to use the levers of the financial system to make himself rich.

Don’t believe there’s anything more to all this than that simple idea. He is not concerned with the truth. Very few politicians are.

However, he is concerned with boosting his bank balance and using any way he can to make it happen. This is what’s occurring here. Ultimately TMTG needs to be a profitable, sound, progressive company to make it as a success on the market.

I don’t expect it will do any of that without becoming that with which it purports to be staunchly against.

TMTG booms

To just highlight the absurdity of Trump’s platform, and the use of a SPAC to get it to market, we actually turn our attention to the crypto market.

As you will have noted, TMTG is the acronym by which Trump’s latest venture is known.

In the crypto markets there is a strange little crypto project called “The Midas Touch Gold”.

Funnily enough, it too shares the same acronym, TMTG. Also, the crypto ticker for its crypto token is also TMTG.

The Midas Touch Gold has been around a lot longer than Trump’s big ideas. You can track its prices all the way back to 2018.

But last week, TMTG (the crypto) boomed. In the space of about an hour it went from $0.0032 to $0.0054 in an astonishing 68.75% rise.

Why?

Well (and I’m not joking here) Trump’s announcement of TMTG (in the stock market) triggered some weird people to pump up the price of TMTG (in the crypto market) solely because they shared the same TMTG acronym.

No matter how bonkers you think Trump is, or his venture into social media, this trumps that hands down.

Until next time…

Sam Volkering
Editor, Exponential Investor

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