Conservatives who feel shut out by Big Tech now have another option for networking and posting their views online. Jason Miller, who served as a spokesman for former President Donald Trump, quietly launched a platform called GETTR last month.
It advertises its mission as “fighting cancel culture, promoting common sense, defending free speech, challenging social media monopolies and creating a true marketplace of ideas.”
Described in an article Thursday by Politico, the new platform — which resembles Twitter — apparently has no direct connection to Trump, who is still investigating other possibilities for breaking back into social media after calling it quits on his short-lived blog. “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” the former president’s answer to being kicked off of major social media sites, lasted just a few weeks, or approximately “3 Scaramuccis.”
Facebook and Twitter both suspended Trump after determining he had used the platforms to encourage insurrection during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol Building. The MAGA crowd has long complained that the platforms are biased against the former president and silences conservatives by banning them swiftly for alleged policy violations. But attempts to launch a supposedly more conservative-friendly alternative have so far fizzled.
Parler, backed by Rebekah Mercer, took off during the 2020 presidential race, becoming the most downloaded app by Nov. 8, when news media declared Democrat Joe Biden the winner. According to Thinknum data, ratings for the social media platform on Apple’s app store peaked at about 49,400 on Dec. 28, 2020.
The app, however, became a hotbed of hate speech, including Holocaust denial, antisemitism, racism and other forms of bigotry. Self-described “western chauvinist” group the Proud Boys, various extremists and adherents of the QAnon conspiracy theory also had a strong presence. Parler was, itself, banned from Apple, Google and Amazon and booted from its cloud-hosting service after many of its users were found to have promoted violent uprising.
Now back on the app store, Parler has found its popularity much diminished.
Twitter users (and in particular, journalists) were quick to pan GETTR, and suggest it might go the way of Parler and Trump’s blog.
“Gettr? It feels like it supposed to mimic the word Twitter, but it sounds more like Get Her or, worse, Gutter,” quipped tech journalist Kara Swisher.
Associated Press reporter Juan Lozano also made a crack: “GETTR? What if we want to help her, support her, listen to her, assist her efforts to overcome the patriarchal barriers that have been in place for generations and that try to knock her down and stifle her potential and say she is not capable of doing anything?”
Some Twitter users suggested the release of the app might be intended as a distraction. On the same day GETTR was widely publicized, Manhattan prosecutors brought a 15-count indictment against Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, as well as its chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg over allegations of tax fraud.
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