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Trump threatens unauthorized app with legal action, says it’s luring his fans for $4.99 a week

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An obscure social media application named 2nd1st that claims to offer “uncensored news and chat” has reportedly been lying to its customers by claiming that former President Donald Trump uses the app when in reality he doesn’t.

This, in turn, has angered the former president, who this week issued a cease-and-desist letter to the company behind the obscure app, Howly, Inc.

Written by Trump’s attorneys, the letter accuses Howly, Inc. of “unlawfully utilizing the name, image, and/or likeness of President Donald J. Trump for commercial purposes, in violation of numerous state and federal laws governing misappropriation and right of publicity.”

“Specifically, it appears the 2nd1st application profile includes images implying President Donald J. Trump uses or otherwise endorses the application, which he does not,” the letter reads.

“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,” it continues.

The letter concludes with a cease-and-desist demand and a threat that the former president may seek “to recover from you any profits derived from the authorized use of his name and likeness, as well as treble damages and costs incurred in defending his intellectual property rights.”

View the letter below:

(Source: New York Post)

Word of 2nd1st’s obscure existence first emerged in January, when, following Parler’s ban by big tech giants like Amazon, the Los Angeles Times ran a report outing competitor apps that Trump supporters were flocking to.

“Created by Howly Inc., 2nd1st says it offers uncensored news and tells users on its app ‘we must not yield to advertisers or cancel culture.’ The app costs 9.99 pounds for a subscription in the U.K.,” the piece reads.

It’s not clear why the Times listed the price in pounds. According to the Post, the app charges $4.99/week for full access, which is quite a steep rate.

“Top posts on the app on Monday included mockups of Jesus standing behind President Trump, vague warnings about a revolution or history-changing event tied to Trump and skepticism about requirements to wear masks to prevent COVID-19,” the Times’ piece continues.

The report also drew attention to Gab, Telegram, Rumble, and MeWe. Of the apps listed, only Rumble has achieved any mainstream acceptance, thanks in part to the former president.

The Post notes that, in addition to a profile for Trump, 2nd1st also contains profiles for Sens. Marsha Blackburn and Rand Paul, as well as Meghan McCain. It’s not clear whether the profiles are legitimate, or whether they’re also fake.

The app meanwhile boasts a 4.4 rating on the Apple Store app, though there’s certainly not a lack of negative reviews either.

About half of the negative reviews appear to be from customers frustrated by the price, and the other half appear to be from Trump-obsessed leftists.

“[T]his is just an app for all triggered QAnon, republicans, and conservative conspiracy theorists to get together for a circle jerk,” one particularly nasty review reads.

“Bunch of nut jobs who were probably part of the Jan. 6th riots! Just used this app to watch them all get triggered at Biden’s success and to watch them cry over trump’s humiliating loss!” it continues.

The irony, of course, is that the former president doesn’t even use or care for the app.

(Source: Apple Store)

News of the former president’s ire toward 2nd1st comes amid a report published by Yahoo News last week revealing that he’s been “struggling” to either find or build out his own permanent replacement for Facebook and Twitter.

Several conservative social media outlets have reportedly propositioned him, including GETTR, which is owned by his former aide Jason Miller.

“Miller [said] discussions are still underway for Trump to potentially join GETTR, a conservative alternative to Twitter,” Yahoo News reported.

However, another Trump adviser dismissed Miller’s claim, saying, “It’s not going to be GETTR.”

Congressional Republicans appear to think similarly.

“The only serious effort underway, according to Republicans close to Trump, is being run by his longtime social media aide Dan Scavino and a handful of developers who meet regularly with the former president,” according to Yahoo.

The former president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., is reportedly assisting by “directing a separate but related effort to find a web-hosting service that won’t boot their operation.”

Conservatives learned the hard way following Parler’s stunning deletion from the internet by big tech earlier this year that they must rely solely upon themselves.

It’s not clear whether the former president and his team are familiar with RightForge, the conservative-owned Web hosting platform that just happens to host all of BizPac Review’s content.

Vivek Saxena

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