In a since-deleted tweet, Axios reporter Dan Primack reported a would-be scoop on Tuesday about the biggest name in conservative media, Fox News, joining the new social media platform created by the biggest name in conservative politics, Donald Trump:
“Fox News today became one of the biggest brands to join Truth Social.
“So far, Truth has been promoting accounts like Fox and the NFL and NASA, but most of them are just bots that are scraping their Twitter feeds. Fox Sports continues to be a bot.”
On Thursday, Primack walked the scoop back, reporting in a story headlined “Fox News saya it didn’t authorize Truth Social account” that a Fox News spokesperson told Axios, “We are not on Truth Social.”
In the joint-bylined story, Primack explained that shares of the company taking Truth Social public, Trump SPAC Digital World Acquisition, rose “after an Axios reporter tweeted about the mere existence of the verified account.”
Primack explained that his Tuesday tweet “was prompted not only by the verification symbol on a Truth Social account bearing Fox News’ name and logo, but also by a message from Truth Social CEO Devin Nunes that read: ‘Great to have RSS feed for @FoxNews now LIVE here on TRUTH! This adds to @OAN and @NewsMax.’”
The stock price of Trump SPAC Digital World Acquisition rose 7% on Tuesday the same day of the erroneous report that Fox News had joined Truth Social. On Thursday, its stock dropped 2.2% following news that Elon Musk had offered to buy Twitter.
Primack’s story explained that “real-looking accounts for numerous big media and sports brands — including Fox Sports, TMZ, NFL, NASA and NASCAR — have existed on Truth Social for months, and often are promoted to new users” but are not verified and have “a small ‘BOT’ disclaimer on their accounts.”
According to Primack, the disclaimer reads, “This account is an RSS feed aggregating bot, and is not managed by or affiliated with the referenced news outlet.”
However, there is not a “BOT” disclaimer on the Fox News account, he reported.
Trump Media and Technology Group told Just the News on Thursday: “Truth Social is committed to preventing impersonator accounts, so we verify official RSS feeds run by well-known content creators. There is no other honest way to interpret this basic service we provide for our users.”
Primack stood by his reporting in a statement to Just the News on Thursday. “The real issue is the verified account, which Truth displays differently than its ‘bot’ accounts (TMZ, Fox Sports, NFL, etc.),” he said. “That implies authorization, based on the language on the bot accounts. No such authorization was given.”
Multiple media outlets picked up the story, including The Hill, the U.K. Independent, Business Insider, and the Washington Examiner.