Pro-Trump Social Network GETTR Reportedly 'Exploited by Extremists’, Awash With Decapitation Videos
16:36 GMT 02.08.2021 (Updated: 18:21 GMT 03.11.2022)
© Photo : gettr/screenshot
GETTR, a social media platform created by Jason Miller, a former aide and spokesman for Donald Trump, and launched officially on 4 July 2021, was advertised as an alternative to mainstream social media - including Twitter and Facebook - which would be “free of bias and censorship”.
GETTR, the fledgling pro-Trump social network launched a month ago by allies of the former president, is seething with “terrorist propaganda” and is becoming a safe haven for Daesh* extremists online, according to Politico.
It was originally advertised as an alternative digital platform which would be free of bias and censorship - particularly attractive to Trump, who had been kicked off Twitter and Facebook after Big Tech cancelled the accounts of the then-President and his Make America Great Again (MAGA) allies.
Officially launched on the Fourth of July by Trump's former spokesman, Jason Miller, it was designed ostensibly to challenge Big Tech and mainstream social media.
However, according to a review of online activity, GETTR - which is meant to be an abbreviation of "getting together" as a community on social media - has been described as inundated with jihadi-related material, such as graphic videos of beheadings and viral memes promoting violence against the West.
The platform, partially funded by Miles Guo, business partner of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, even includes memes of Trump himself being executed in an orange jumpsuit similar to those worn by inmates at Guantanamo Bay prison.
Daesh “has been very quick to exploit GETTR,” Moustafa Ayad, executive director for Africa, the Middle East and Asia at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, was quoted by Politico as saying.
The think-tank tracking online extremism is the first to have discovered the jihadi accounts, subsequently sharing the revelations with Politico.
“There was a message on one of these accounts that I follow on Facebook that is known to be Islamic State, which said ‘Oh, Trump announced his new platform. Inshallah, all the mujahideen will exploit that platform. The next day, there were at least 15 accounts on GETTR that were Islamic State,” Ayad said.
The outlet says it discovered at least 250 accounts that used hashtags to promote jihadi material and had posted regularly on the platform since early July. When asked about such material being shared on GETTR, Miller responded with a text message, cited by the outlet, saying Trump was being targeted because he had destroyed the terrorist group militarily.
Speaking of the jihadists, he added the only members still alive were “keyboard warriors hiding in caves and eating dirt cookies.”
Some of the posts on GETTR dating to early July were eventually taken down in an attempt to remove harmful content on the platform.
Meanwhile, a clause in the platform’s terms of service outlines how offensive content, including related to terrorism, may be removed from GETTR.
“This may include content identified as personal bullying, sexual abuse of a child, attacking any religion or race, or content containing video or depictions of beheading.”
Donald Trump was suspended from Twitter and Facebook after being accused of inciting the riot on Washington's Capitol on 6 January. The former president pledged to offer an alternative to engage with his supporters, and rolled out a website in May named From the Desk of Donald J Trump.
However, it had few engagement opportunities, was criticised for being more of a blog than a social media platform, and was taken down just weeks later amid widespread ridicule.
GETTR stated mission was to “fight the cancel culture, promote common sense, defend free speech, challenge social media monopolies, and create a true marketplace of ideas.” Trump, himself, has not yet officially signed up to the platform. But the Twitter handle he used to use, "RealDonaldTrump", is parked at GETTR should he decide to join, Miller was quoted as saying by Insider.
However, the former President issued an email on 17 July saying:
“As an answer to the many people asking, I am not on any social media platform in any way, shape, or form, including Parler, GETTR, Gab, etc. When I decide to choose a platform, or build or complete my own, it will be announced. Thank you!"
NEW!— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) July 17, 2021
President Donald J. Trump:
"As an answer to the many people asking, I am not on any social media platform in any way, shape, or form, including Parler, GETTR, Gab, etc. When I decide to choose a platform, or build or complete my own, it will be announced. Thank you!" pic.twitter.com/WVa2Ivelfu
*Daesh is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries