Joe Biden, Now on Truth Social, Decides It’s Time to Troll Trump
The Biden campaign, taking a page out of Gavin Newsom’s playbook, has signed up for Truth Social, the social media platform founded by Donald Trump. A campaign officialFox News Monday that by joining the platform, Joe Biden hoped to “[meet] voters where they are” and provide an alternative to conservative talking points. “There’s very little ‘truth’ happening on Truth Social, but at least now it’ll be a little fun,” a Biden official said, adding that the president hoped to combat “mis- and disinformation.”
Newsom, the California governor, became one of the first notable Democrats to sign up for Truth Social in the summer of last year. His spokesperson said he joined to combat “misinformation and conspiracy theories” shared by Trump and other Republicans on the platform. But after a flurry of initial engagement, the governor all but stopped using Truth Social early this year: Aside from a Monday post welcoming Biden—“Nice to see some fellow dems joining the fun over here,” Newsom wrote—his most recent post on Truth Social was in February.
It remains to be seen whether Biden’s account will see a similar fate. But his presence does provide Truth Social with a crucial ingredient that it previously lacked for a successful social media experience: an enemy to yell at. The platform, by virtue of being made by and for the MAGA-verse, has a noticeable lack of the addictive animosity that makes X, formerly known as Twitter, the top destination for online political battles. By merely existing on Truth Social, the Biden campaign is filling that need. Evidence for this can be seen in the hundreds, if not thousands, of angry or derisive replies the @BidenHQ account has already attracted.
The Biden team seems all too aware of its role in the Truth Social ecosystem,on X that they joined Truth Social “mostly because we thought it would be very funny.” The @BidenHQ account itself seems geared for online conflict: Its biography reads, “Just the facts, Jack”; its banner image says, “Malarkey Ends Here”; and its profile photo features Biden’s “Dark Brandon” persona—complete with laser eyes and a mischievous grin. (The moniker is a reference to “Let’s go, Brandon,” a right-wing chant that translates, in meme speak, to “Fuck Joe Biden.” The Dark Brandon meme also appears to be the president’s way of playfully repurposing the conservative media’s portrayal of him as an authoritarian despot.)
The content of the account reads as slightly more earnest. “Well. Let’s see how this goes,” the campaign wrote in its first Truth Social post, “Converts welcome!” That post was followed by a steady stream of clips showing Trump’s rivals in the Republican presidential primary either criticizing the former president or commending Biden’s leadership. On the more troll-ish side of things, @BidenHQ shared a Fox News clip of Republican congresswoman Nancy Mace admitting that she has yet to research the GOP’s evidence for wanting to impeach Biden. The campaign has also highlighted infighting between non-Trump Republican presidential candidates on the platform, and on Tuesday shared a video of Ron DeSantis labeling Nikki Haley “politically correct” after she declined to call all Palestinians antisemitic.
The Trump campaign, meanwhile, has sought to use Biden’s presence on Truth Social as promotional material for the platform and a cudgel to attack the president. “Crooked Joe Biden and his team are finally acknowledging that Truth Social is hot as a pistol and the only place where real news happens,” Steven Cheung, a Trump campaign spokesperson, told Fox News. “Unfortunately for Biden, his continuation of spreading misinformation to gaslight the American people in order to distract from his disastrous record won’t work and they’ll be ratioed to oblivion.”
Of course, to begin with, Truth Social is in desperate need of any attention. The platform isto have 2 million active users, making it appear shrimp-like compared to industry whales Facebook (3 billion users) and X (half a billion).