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Social media sheds light on modern day tragedies – Marshall Independent

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Social media is changing the way the world gets news, and it’s made people like George Floyd and Gabby Petito world famous.

In the Floyd case, video footage became a key element of the prosecution’s case. Without video, it’s very likely that Derek Chauvin would have gotten away with murder.

It would have been the word of four officers against the word of crowd members on a street corner in a poor neighborhood of Minneapolis. There would have been no way to prove that kneeling on Floyd’s neck involved nine minutes.

Good investigative reporting might have raised a brutality issue, but it probably would not have led to action against the officers. Many bystanders would have been reluctant to go on the record with what they observed.

It would probably have taken at least one junior officer with a guilty conscience. That wouldn’t have been likely. They’re trained to follow orders, not to question a superior.

Those facts show the historical injustices that sometimes confronted the poor and minorities. If the exact same situation had happened in the past at a country club and the witnesses would have been wealthy Caucasians, the officers would have faced serious issues.

They would most likely have acted differently in the first place. They probably wouldn’t have used as much force, and wouldn’t have felt threatened by their audience.

Instead justice in the Floyd case depended greatly on social media. The evidence became undeniable. It horrified millions of people, including the jury.

Social media became a game changer again this fall in the missing persons situation involving Gabby Petito, a situation that also captured worldwide interest.

She had posted extensively about her cross country vacation with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie. The video footage made her appear happy. No one would have guessed that something was about to go horribly wrong.

Everyone was shocked by the traffic stop footage, and by the manhunt for the boyfriend. Without the combination of video footage, she might have just become one of many missing persons.

Laundrie might have gone home with a cover story about how they peacefully parted ways. Possibly evidence would have turned up, but it’s also possible that he might have been able to cover his tracks. It would have perhaps turned into an “unsolved mystery”.

On the surface it might seem like the modern trend toward phone video relating to tragedies is morbid. It might appear to indicate that society in general is obsessed with violence.

To appreciate the significance, it’s important to look historically at how tragedy has been portrayed. Ancient Greek playwrights tried to make sense of it. So did Shakespeare and other theatrical writers during the later stages of the Renaissance.

They acted out on stage elements of murder, violence and betrayal that were impossible to fully understand in real life. Soldiers who went to war and people who experienced violent incidents knew what it was like, but the general public was insulated.

That continued right through World War II, as radio and movie footage only alluded to the horrors of war. It wasn’t until the Vietnam era that televised war scenes made their way into living rooms across the world.

Many moderate middle class people were shocked to see it televised, to have a firsthand view of deaths in Southeast Asian jungles. Some of them responded with sympathy for the nationwide anti-war movement. Since then the reality factor has affected society. There’s never been another military draft.

Social media is likely to be the next logical step in bringing society toward a better understanding of man’s inhumanity toward man.

There’s great potential for a positive transformation. It might become a way to deter violence. It’s not likely to end violence completely, but hopefully at least some lives can be saved.

— Jim Muchlinski is a longtime reporter and contributor to the Marshall Independent

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Trump's social media venture says it has raised $1B – Vancouver Sun

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He is working to launch a social media app called TRUTH Social that is at least several weeks away.

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Donald Trump’s new social media venture said on Saturday it had entered into agreements to raise about $1 billion from a group of unidentified investors as it prepares to float in the U.S. stock market.

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The capital raise, details of which were first reported by Reuters on Wednesday, underscored the former U.S. president’s ability to attract strong financial backing thanks to his personal and political brand. He is working to launch a social media app called TRUTH Social that is at least several weeks away.

Digital World Acquisition Corp, the blank-check acquisition firm that will take Trump Media & Technology Group Corp public by listing it in New York, said it will provide up to $293 million to the partnership with Trump’s media venture, taking the total proceeds to about $1.25 billion.

The $1 billion will be raised through a private investment in public equity (PIPE) transaction from “a diverse group of institutional investors,” Trump Media and Digital World said in a statement. They did not respond to requests to name the investors.

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Trump Media inked its deal with Digital World to go public in October at a valuation of $875 million, including debt. The social media venture is now valued at almost $4 billion based on the price of Digital World shares at the end of trading on Friday. Trump supporters and day traders snapped up the stock.

Many Wall Street firms such as mutual funds and private equity firms snubbed the opportunity to invest in the PIPE. Among those investors who participated were hedge funds, family offices and high net-worth individuals, Reuters reported on Wednesday. Family offices manage the wealth of the very rich and their kin.

Some Wall Street investors are reluctant to associate with Trump. He was banned from top social media platforms after the Jan. 6 attack by his supporters on the U.S. Capitol amid concerns he would inspire further violence. The Capitol attack was based on unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud in last year’s presidential election.

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“As our balance sheet expands, Trump Media & Technology Group will be in a stronger position to fight back against the tyranny of Big Tech,” Trump said in a statement on Saturday.

The deal also faces regulatory risk. U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren asked Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler last month to investigate the planned merger for potential violations of securities laws around disclosure. The SEC has declined to comment on whether it plans any action.

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Trump Media and Digital World said the per-share conversion price of the convertible preferred stock PIPE transaction represents a 20% discount to Digital World’s volume-weighted average closing price for the five trading days to Dec. 1, when Reuters broke news of the capital raise.

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If that price averages below $56 in the 10 days after the merger with Digital World has been completed, the discount will grow to 40% with a floor of $10, the companies added. Digital World shares ended trading on Friday $44.97.

Trump had 89 million followers on Twitter, 33 million on Facebook and 24.5 million on Instagram at the time he was blocked, according to a presentation on his company’s website.

Investors attending the confidential investor road shows were shown a demo from the planned social media app, which looked like a Twitter feed, Reuters reported.

FIRST-QUARTER ROLLOUT

Since Trump was voted out of office last year, he has repeatedly dropped hints that he might seek the presidency in 2024.

Special purpose acquisition companies such as Digital World had lost much of their luster with retail investors before the Trump media deal came along. Many of these investors were left with big losses after the companies that merged with SPACs failed to deliver on their ambitious financial projections.

TRUTH Social is scheduled for a full rollout in the first quarter of 2022. It is the first of three stages in the Trump Media plan, followed by a subscription video-on-demand service called TMTG+ that will feature entertainment, news and podcasts, according to the news release.

In a slide deck on its website, the company envisions eventually competing against Amazon.com’s AWS cloud service and Google Cloud.

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Trump social media company claims to raise $1bn from investors – The Guardian

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Trump social media company claims to raise $1bn from investors  The Guardian



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Trump's new social media company says it has $1 billion in funding lined up – National | Globalnews.ca – Global News

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Donald Trump‘s new social media company and its special purpose acquisition company partner say the partner has agreements for $1 billion in capital from institutional investors.

The former president launched his new company, Trump Media & Technology Group, in October. He unveiled plans for a new messaging app called “Truth Social” to rival Twitter and the other social media platforms that banned him following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

TMTG’s plan is to become a publicly listed company through a merger with the publicly traded Digital World Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company whose sole purpose is to acquire a private company and take it public.

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Trump tested positive for COVID-19 days before Biden debate, ex aide says

The institutional investors were not identified in a press release issued Saturday by Trump Media and Digital World. The money would come from “a diverse group” of investors after the two companies are combined, it said.

Digital World said in the release that the $1 billion is above the $293 million (minus expenses) that it may invest.

“I am confident that TMTG can effectively deploy this capital to accelerate and strengthen the execution of its business, including by continuing to attract top talent, hire top technology providers, and roll out significant advertising and business development campaigns,” Digital World CEO Patrick Orlando said in the release.

Trump is listed as chair of TMTG. He will get tens of millions in special bonus shares if the combined company performs well, handing the former president possibly billions of dollars in paper wealth.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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