A former spokesman for former President Donald Trump launched a new social media platform on the Fourth of July by defiantly declaring “independence” from what he called the “woke tyranny” of tech giants.
Jason Miller left his day-to-day job with Trump last month to become the CEO of GETTR, which officially went live at 10 a.m. ET on July 4.
“GETTR is a direct challenge to the social media oligarchs from Silicon Valley, and what better day to declare independence from their woke tyranny than July 4th?” Miller said in a statement. “GETTR is the marketplace of ideas. We will not cancel people for their political opinions, and GETTR offers far more features and better technology than anything else out there.”
According to Miller, GETTR was the ninth-most downloaded free app from the Apple App Store and was the second-most downloaded free app from Google Play even before the formal launch.
“Users won’t have to choose between conservative-leaning platforms with inferior technology and slicker liberal Apps that crush their freedom of expression,” Miller said. “With GETTR, they’ll get back their freedom of speech and have a superior product at the same time.”
Miller’s statement also touted some of GETTR’s features, including the ability to post longer messages (up to 777 characters) and videos (up to three minutes) than on Twitter. GETTR’s dashboard (the name, according to Miller, is “derived from the idea of ‘getting together’ as a community on social media”) bears a strong resemblance to Twitter’s, while the new platform will also verify certain users.
Verified profiles as of Sunday evening included former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson. There was no sign of the 45th president on the platform, though Politico, quoting a “person involved with the app” reported last week that Trump has an account “reserved for him.”
The former president was banned from Twitter and suspended from Facebook following the deadly Jan. 6 riot by his supporters at the US Capitol. Facebook said last month that Trump’s suspension would not be lifted until January of 2023 at the earliest.
Trump briefly experimented with a blog-style platform called “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” which enabled him to make posts that could be shared on Facebook and Twitter by others, but that was shut down last month.
Sunday’s launch was not without hiccups. GETTR was briefly hacked by an cyber-intruder who altered certain profiles, including those of Pompeo and Miller himself, to read: “JubaBaghdad was here, follow me in twitter :)”. Salon staff writer Zachary Petrizzo posted images of the hacked accounts on Twitter.
“The problem was detected and sealed in a matter of minutes, and all the intruder was able to accomplish was to change a few user names,” Miller told Reuters in a statement, adding that the problem had been “rectified.”