Trump threatens ‘free speech’ app with legal action, claims it’s luring his fans for $4.99 a week

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The former president has now hit the company with a cease-and-desist letter

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It appears that a mysterious social media app lures people into using the app for $4.99 a week while claiming that Donald Trump is on stage.

The former president has now hit the company with a cease-and-desist letter, The Post has learned. The letter demands that the app stop using President Trump’s likeness.

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The app, called 2nd1st, is available on Apple’s App Store and bills itself as a go-to place for “uncensored news and chat.”

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In addition to Trump, the app also includes profiles of conservative figures such as Republican sans Marsha Blackburn and Rand Paul, as well as former “The View” host Meghan McCain.

It is unclear if any of these individuals actually use the platform. After The Post contacted a source close to Trump for this story, lawyers for the former president’s team sent a cease-and-desist letter.

A screenshot of a fake Trump post prominently featured in the 2nd1st listing on the Apple App Store. This is actually a copy-pasted version of a January 8 tweet in which Trump said – on Twitter, not on the 2nd – that the people who voted for him “will have a giant voice in the future.”

Twitter cited in its blog post why it banned Trump for allegedly inciting violence.

The app also has a profile page for Trump featuring dozens of other posts — even though former presidential spokeswoman Liz Harrington confirmed to The Post that she doesn’t use the platform.

Donald Trump isn’t the only major conservative with a profile on the app.

Since Trump was removed from mainstream social media in January, a slate of free speech-oriented platforms have sprung up in efforts to court the president and his millions of followers.

Getr, a Twitter alternative run by former Trump adviser Jason Miller, is prompting the former president to join the platform, reportedly including offering him equity. Another free speech app Parlor has also wooed Trump.

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But while Trump has so far refused to join any other new social media platforms, 2nd1st shows companies want to step into the void of his absence from Facebook and Twitter.

When users download 2nd1st, they are shown videos of Trump rallies and urged to sign up for an expensive subscription that automatically renews every week.

“We shouldn’t bow down to advertisers or quash culture,” reads the second 1 app’s greeting screen. “Start a 3-day free trial then $4.99/week.”

According to the listing on the App Store, other users are charged $9.99 or more per week.

Apple doesn’t disclose how much money the app charges through its store, but 2nd1st currently has 2,800 reviews on the App Store. As a conservative estimate, if all 2,800 reviewers were paying more than $4.99 per week, 2nd1st would take in about $728,000 per year.

2nd1st has a 4.4 out of 5 star rating on the App Store. But some people’s reviews complain about automatic re-billing payments—and the cost of the service.

“I hate this app and wish it was gone forever,” gushed one reviewer.

“The boss just uses the current situation to try to make money… you’re just as bad as Pelosi!!!” angered the other.

In a cease-and-desist letter sent by Trump’s team to 2nd1st, attorneys for the former president accuse the app of “violating several state and federal laws governing the right to campaign and publicity,” according to a copy of the letter shared with Put it. Post.

Attorney Nathan D. Groth wrote, “In particular, it appears that the 2nd1st Application profile contains images that use President Donald J. Trump or otherwise endorse the Application, which he does not.” “Second 1st unauthorized use of the name, image and likeness of President Donald J. Trump is likely to lead individuals to believe that President Trump has authorized, sponsored or approved an application that he does not.”

The letter was sent on 30 September and the company was given two days to “resolve the matter informally”. It threatened to take other “legal action” as needed. As of Tuesday, Trump’s image and profile remained at 2nd1st. It appears that Trump’s team has yet to take any further action.

While it appears that 2nd1st is making thousands of dollars from troubled conservatives, it is unclear who is actually hoarding the money.

The website of the app does not contain any information about its creators. Its privacy policy page says that users who wish to delete their accounts should contact a support email, but messages sent to that address were returned with the message “Delivery incomplete”. Trump’s team sent the letter to another email address on the app, but did not receive a response, according to Trump spokeswoman Harrington.

2nd1st’s App Store page says it’s Howly Inc. Company, US Patent and Trademark Office records show, based in Wichita, Kansas.

The company listed a registered agent at a Wichita address in documents filed with the Kansas Secretary of State. It appears to be a strip mall with Dunkin’ Donuts, Supercuts, and the PostNet Shipping Center. It appears that the company is using a registered agent service that uses the mailbox at the shipping center as its official address.

The State Records along with the Articles of Incorporation of the Company lists “Shyam Sawant” as a Director in the company which was incorporated in May 2019.

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Buzzfile, a company information database, also lists Howley’s address as a Wichita strip mall. It says the company’s CEO is “Shyam Sawant” and lists a phone number along with the New York City area code.

Calls to the number went unanswered, and public records pulled by The Post indicate that no one named Shyam Sawant resides in the US. However, in India there are more than 30 LinkedIn profiles for the people named Shyam Sawant. No one mentions Howley, so it’s unclear whether someone is associated with the firm.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment on whether the other was in violation of the company’s rules.


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