🗞️ The Trump social media lawsuit

This week: Trump’s new media venture is already feeling the legal heat and the Elizabeth Holmes trial reaches its midway(ish) point. Plus: Kellogg’s has a legal problem with Pop Tarts.


😵 Trump's planned social media network is already facing a major legal threat 

Donald Trump launched a SPAC last week that heralds the beginning of his dive into the media industry through an org called the Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG). 

He’s already on the verge of getting sued, according to The Verge

  • The first product of TMTG is Truth Social: It’s a social media network like Twitter, which kicked Trump off the platform. Like many other websites, Truth Social borrowed the code used to build the site from a network known as Mastodon.

  • Mastodon lets anyone use its code: It’s free and open. But anyone who uses it is supposed to follow certain conditions, including offering the code to others. Truth Social has not done that, according to The Verge, and has described its source code as proprietary.   

The Software Freedom Conservancy is taking action

The SFC enforces free and open software licenses and has ordered Truth Social to comply with Mastodon’s conditions within 30 days. The organization recently sued Vizio for a similar accusation.

The Verdict

This is unlikely to be the only legal conflict concerning Trump’s media company.


🧑‍⚖️ The Elizabeth Holmes trial is about halfway over; here are the key points

Where does the time go? The Elizabeth Holmes trial, likely to last until mid-December, has reached its halfway point. Here’s a breakdown of what’s happened and what may happen in the coming weeks, per the WSJ

  • Around 20 witnesses have taken the stand: All for the prosecution. They’ve included former employees, customers, investors, and board members, such as former defense secretary Jim Mattis. The prosecution has used them to present Theranos as a flailing company that sometimes manipulated data and projections and didn’t live up to the expectations from investors or patients.  

  • And the defense has tried to focus on Holmes’s intentions: The prosecution must prove she was aware of all the issues and deliberately misled the investors and public, so the defense has tried to get witnesses to say they didn’t really know what was going on in her head. It also got one witness to say company execs quickly responded to complaints from Theranos lab employees.   

  • Jurors have heard from Elizabeth Holmes just once: It was only her voice. She was recorded in 2013 saying Theranos’s product could run any combo of blood tests from a single prick of blood. Holmes may eventually be called as a witness by her defense team.  

  • Three jurors have been removed: One of them was kicked off for playing sudoku during the trial.


🥣 Kellogg’s is being sued over Pop Tarts 

There’s a problem with Strawberry Pop Tarts: That red filling might not have enough strawberries. 

  • Three lawsuits have been filed against Kellogg’s: The most recent, seeking $5 million in damages, claims the Strawberry Pop Tart actually has more pears and apples than strawberries, according to the WSJ.

  • The same lawyer has filed all three suits: Spencer Sheehan wants to gain class action status for them and believes, per the WSJ, “if you’re going to call it strawberry, you either ought to have all strawberries in there or just call it something else.”

The legal reasoning behind this

Sheehan outlined in his suit that the strawberry Pop Tart violates consumer fraud laws by making people believe it’s a higher quality product than it really is. 

The Verdict

Who knows? Sheehan could actually win. Ireland’s Supreme Court recently found that Subway bread can’t technically be considered bread because of its ingredients. 


💌 What else we're forwarding

Why working as a lawyer helps combat imposter syndrome: Anytime you’re having thoughts of inadequacy, depose yourself and remember the great characteristics that have allowed you to succeed. 

India is Facebook's biggest market and also home to its biggest problems: Facebook’s United States issues are small compared to what’s going on in India, where online misinformation and hate speech have roiled the country.


💬 What we’re discussing

​Over 80% of GC’s believe it’s important to have a seat at the C-Suite table. But not everyone succeeds. So how can you position yourself as a valuable member of the executive team? Join our next panel discussion where Lisa Lang (GC, Kentucky State University) will moderate a conversation with Adam VanWagner (GC, MoneyLion), Brooke Smarsh (GC, Flow), and Lydia Cheuk (GC, Away) as they share their experiences of integrating into the C-Suite and issues they faced along the way. RSVP to join us this Thursday!


🎧 Music we’re working to

Today we’re listening to BADBADNOTGOOD, a jazz trio from Toronto. Founded back in 2010, they’ve released 5 albums and we’re listening to Talk Memory, released earlier this month. Their most complex record to date, Talk Memory features vibrant electric guitars, stunning piano riffs, and some beautiful saxophone melodies. You’ll definitely enjoy it!

Talk Memory - BADBADNOTGOOD (40m, no vocals)
Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Amazon Music


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See ya next week!

✌🏽 Raad