Young Grifter Would Like $200,000 For His Trump Social Media Site Everyone Already Forgot About
As we have all learned over the past few years, conservatives have a hard time with the more social aspects of the internet (and of life in general). They get rejected when they go on dating apps, they get rejected when they go to bars. They get kicked off of social media for spouting Islamaphobic bullshit about a sitting congresswoman.
Being that conservatives are an especially grifty and gullible people -- you can sell them a $60 bottle of sawdust pills so long as you also tell them that Hillary Clinton is doing satanic ritual abuse to babies -- several sites and apps have popped up hoping to line wallets and fill voids by appealing to this demographic, only to become a thing everyone laughs at for a minute and then forgets about forever.
Or to suffer a major PR setback when it turns out that their spokesperson is in fact a chomo.
Last February, Trump.Dating, one of the 85,000 internet dating sites geared towards lonely, unfuckable Trump supporters, faced a minor setback when it came to light that one of their spokesmodels, William Barrett Riddleberger, had a felony conviction for having filmed himself raping a 15-year-old girl in 1995 when he was 25. How very R. Kelly of him!
Things only got shadier from there. The site found itself in trouble for using a picture of Gen. Mark Walsh, a happily married retired Air Force chief of staff, in a lineup of eligible bachelors looking for love on the site, without his permission. Then, it turned out that William Barrett Riddleberger was far more involved with the site than it first appeared.
An article promoting the site in the Daily Caller cited the site's owner and/or spokesman as one Sean McGrossier. It was also written by someone named Sean McGrossler. With an L. Yet, when one clicked on the name, one would have been taken to an author page tagged "ariddleberger" in the url.
As the Washington Post's Avi Selk pointed out at the time:
Trump.Dating's spokesman, as mentioned above, gave his name as Sean McGrossler. A Feb. 5 launch announcement on the Daily Caller originally listed the site's founder and owner as Sean McGrossier, with an "i," though it was sometimes spelled as McGrossler in the same advertisement.
McGrossler (the site's spokesman) did not immediately respond to questions from The Washington Post about whether he is also McGrossier/McGrossler (the site's owner), and, if so, which spelling of his name is correct.
For some reason, Sean McGrossler's byline on the Daily Caller is tagged as "ariddleberger" — the last name of the former model convicted of a sex crime, whom Sean McGrossler (the spokesman and possibly also the owner) said no longer represented Trump.Dating.
As it turned out, William Barrett Riddleberger and his wife Jodi (who also appeared in the advertisements) have a son named Addison Riddleberger, pictured below.
As Daily Kos reported in December of 2016, Jodi and Addison Riddleberger attempted to launch their own Macedonian-teenager-style fake conservative news site, The Truth Division (last updated two years ago), while Addison was working as an intern for North Carolina Congressman Mark Walker.
In November of this year, the launch of a new social media site for Trump supporters was heralded by Fox News and The Daily Wire and exactly no one else. And who is behind this site? Addison Riddleberger.
Pro-Trump Social Network Launches, Featured On Fox And Friends First youtu.be
The site is supposed to be a special refuge for Trump supporters who keep getting banned from social media simply for saying that they like the President of the United States and agree with his policies (literally no one is being banned for that), and who just want a platform to do their free speech on. So basically it's Gab. Or Parler, that social media site that only Laura Loomer is on.
Riddleberger is claiming that he got the idea for the site when he was banned from Facebook, along with several pages he owns. But this is far from the first time he has tried to launch such a site. In June, he started a GoFundMe for a site called "Patriot Chat," but only got $25 total in funding, all from one lady named Pam.
Now, he'd like $200,000, please, to help fund TrumpTown.
In a posting to Gust, a social media site for angel investors and entrepreneurs to connect, Grifty McGrifterson outlined his business plan. He projects that his social media site for Trump supporters (that everyone has already forgotten about) will be valued at $1 million in the first year. Sure dude.
Our product is simple and solution-oriented: A niche social network geared toward supporters of the President who feel that their political opinions are met with consequence -- such as bans or suspensions -- on popular mainstream social networks like Facebook and Twitter. The site's look and feel has been described as a hybrid of Facebook and Twitter with common, intuitive features that users would immediately feel comfortable with.
It appears no one is taking his bait over on Gust, a fact which Riddleberger complains about on the GoFundMe he set up for the site:
Over the past month or so, we quickly discovered that the elitist investor groups we've talked with -- who would otherwise jump all over this kind of opportunity given our explosive early growth -- are filled with anti-Trump liberals. And they know EXACTLY what it would mean if conservatives finally had an open, free-speech forums where they wouldn't be banned for expressing support for President Trump.
And that scares them to death.
Yeah, everyone does know EXACTLY what it would mean. It would mean that everyone would just go on ignoring them like we usually do. And that regular social media would be a lot more pleasant!
Elite liberals or no, I can't imagine investors would "jump all over this" considering that niche social media (or dating) sites for conservatives have not done too well in the past. All of these sites fail. All of them. Because pretty much the only thing the kind of people who would go to these sites are even on social media for is to try to "own the libs" and kvetch all day about how they are supposedly "shadow banned" (read: not as popular on social media as they believe they ought to be). If we're not there to troll, if they can't complain about non-existent "censorship," they get bored. Clearly they're just as tedious to each other as they are to us. Even they don't wanna have to hang around with themselves all day.
So far, he has raised $115 from five people, none of whom are even Pam.
I created a sock account for TrumpTown to see what the deal was, and it was like five people posting about how rap music and socialism are bad, and each of them posted this one article that is a sad about how Whoopi Goldberg supposedly "instantly regretted" saying that no one wants Trump's wall. Spoiler alert: She did not.
On the bright side, I only saw one advertisement -- for a book about Patrick Nagel, the once-ubiquitous 1980s artist who did the cover art for Duran Duran's Rio.
Given that this doesn't seem to be working out too well, I can't wait to see what this family of grifters and sex offenders has in store for us all next!
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse