Social-media startup Truth Social has branded itself as the anti-Twitter and the exclusive home of former President Donald Trump. Its prospects, the firm’s financial backers have disclosed in public filings, depend on monetizing Trump supporters’ rage over alleged "Big Tech” censorship of the political right.

As it turns out, it’s hard to build a social network to take on Big Tech without the help of Big Tech. The Trump venture’s pugnacious political approach has hobbled the company’s development from its inception, a Reuters examination of the origins of the secretive enterprise has found.

Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) has struggled to develop its social media platform since its February 2021 founding because its managers have sought to avoid potential corporate partners and employees perceived as politically liberal in a Silicon Valley-based industry that skews left, said three people with knowledge of its operations.