OREM, Utah — The City of Orem was forced to offer an explanation to a Facebook post it made talking about former President Donald Trump's new social media platform.
Early Wednesday, the page asked followers whether they planned on creating an account on Trump's Truth Social site, which he hopes will allow him to regain a presence on social media after he was banned from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
"The City wants to be where the people are. As we plan our future communication strategies it begs the question," the post said.
However, many took to the comments to oppose the city's interest in the site.
"Not the President. Former President. If your intentions were actually in good faith then you would have asked people what social media platforms they use, and then not used a Trump pic to transmit your info," wrote Marcus Flinders. "Not a good look."
Several people believe the city was showing partisanship by asking about, thereby promoting, Trump's site.
"The partisan bias and sycophancy in this post from what should be a neutral account representing all of the citizens of Orem is tragic and shameful," said Carl Youngblood.
"I don't ever see myself joining a social media platform that is closely tied to any one political party, let alone any one politician. This question - with the implication that the City of Orem is considering conducting official business on the platform - is disconcerting," Matt Peterson wrote.
Hours later, after hundreds of mostly negative comments, the city added a note to the post, saying they were not attempting to "alienate anyone or promote one side or the other."
"We depend on social media to help get information to residents and we simply wanted to know if large numbers of Orem residents would be leaving traditional social media in favor of this."
Truth Social has been met with widespread skepticism since it was first announced, especially since its terms of service declared that any posts that disparage the site will be removed.
The new social media site is expected to launch in 2022, although commenters on the City of Orem's Facebook post echoed the opinion of experts who say buyer beware.
"There are questions about its security and legitimacy," wrote Cindy Rasmussen. "I’m sure most of us including Orem City didn’t join FB at the beginning; it takes time for social media platforms, regardless of their creator, to work out issues. Better safe than sorry."