Last month, it was predicted that social media would become a major story, which was why we set out to define the social media landscape. Admittedly, this was somewhat premature. In the early days of 2022, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Dr. Robert Malone were purged from Twitter for speaking truth in a toilet of lies. As Republicans typically do, they talk of the need for an alternative to the tech oligarchs and the need to regulate Big Tech yet fail to deliver (cough Ted Cruz). At first, they frolicked to Parler, which they only concerned themselves with after it was shut down by Amazon, Apple, and Alphabet (Google). For a variety of reasons, including capitulation to Big Tech, Parler has failed to metastasize as a formidable alternative, currently declining to 2386 in the US Alexa Ranks. People got a taste of what Parler had to offer, and statistically did not stick around.
Enter GETTR, the symbolic successor to Parler being hailed as the latest savior in Alt-Tech. It has attracted the interest of MTG, various conservative media pundits and politicians, Tulsi Gabbard, and most notoriously Joe Rogan. Rather than learn from previous alt-tech failures, GETTR is going to repeat the mistake Parler: Astroturf a user base, neglect User Interface, and decrease in relevance until the money dries up. This strategy does not work. The functionality of the product is the key to growing users and relevance. It should go without saying that a technology company should primarily focus on its technology.
According to Alexa, GETTR was already in decline in the 90-day period preceding its most recent spark. Both domestically and globally, Gab, who is the closest relevant competitor, ranks significantly higher than GETTR.
GETTR Takes on Gab
In a ballsy marketing ploy, GETTR has officially joined Andrew Torba’s Gab in an effort to draw users from one alt-tech to another through memes that appear to proclaim themselves as the superior free speech alternative to Twitter. This could be fruitful on Twitter or Facebook, but Gab, which brandishes itself as the sole free speech platform, is more free speech than GETTR, which recently banned Nick Fuentes and has been proven to, at the very least temporarily, shadow ban Elijah Schaffer of Blaze Media. Nick Fuentes is the human trial for whether a platform is truly free speech given his controversial reputation (Note: I am not overly familiar with him in any capacity). If you ban him at the bidding of leftist organizations like ADL and SPLC, then you are not pro-Free Speech.
GETTR holds freedom of speech as its core value and does not wish to censor your opinions. Nonetheless, you may not post on or transmit through the Service any unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, libelous, indecent, vulgar, obscene, sexually explicit, pornographic, profane, hateful, racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable material of any kind, including any material that encourages conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability or otherwise violate any law, rule or regulation of the laws applicable to you or applicable in the country in which the material is posted. For example, 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 beheadings. We reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to reject, refuse to post or remove any posting or other UGC (including private messages) from you, or to deny, restrict, suspend or terminate access to all or any part of the Interactive Community at any time, for any or no reason, without prior notice or explanation and without liability.
The language used is both broad and vague, as they intentionally leave the door wide open to ban people for whatever reasons they dictate, much like Twitter. Illegal speech is not free speech, but even lawful speech would be restricted on this platform with no clear boundaries. The terms harmful, hateful, obscene, profane, indecent, and vulgar are undefined in their user agreement. The “otherwise objectionable” is a catch-all that would allow them to ban someone outright for whatever reason they decide. There is no clear standard or list of naughty words and phrases which are deemed unacceptable behavior, meaning they could eventually change the platform to be as restrictive as Twitter. Their Branch Covidian CEO could enforce “Covid Misinformation” under the guise of “otherwise objectionable” or “harmful.” The same could go for issues including election integrity/fraud claims or someone defending the next Kyle Rittenhouse. As a silver lining, the Rainbow Jihad is unmentioned in their terms.
Remember, Twitter started out as a free speech platform which was known for edgy, provocative behavior from its users. Obviously, that is no longer the case, but there is nothing to stop that from happening to GETTR, which they could implement based on their terms of service as they are currently written.
GETTR Behind the Scenes
The CEO of GETTR is Jason Miller, a career political campaign advisor and media specialist. Miller worked on presidential campaigns for Giuliani, Cruz, and Trump functioning as a communications specialist. Miller did brief stints at CNN and Newsmax as a contributor. On a personal level, he has had several problematic relationships with the ladies which have been dredged into court filings. In working with Trump in 2020, Miller was indeed a Branch Covidian, advocating for masks, lockdowns, and travel restrictions. His Twitter still shills for the vaccine to this day while pretending to support those censored by Twitter for speaking the opposite. If he was the communications guy for Trump in 2020, then he was absolutely terrible at his job, so do not be fooled by his fake conservative credentials.
One element of GETTR which often gets misrepresented by its detractors is their Chinese connections. While billionaire Guo Wengui provided startup capital and likely the original code for GETTR, he is a fugitive of Communist China and Hong Kong. Guo Wengui has connections with Steve Bannon and was early alarmist of the Wuhan lab leak.
Other players behind the scenes include Emily Bowden, a NY Post reporter, who while is anti-Cuomo, is not exactly pro-Trump. Deputy CEO Kingsley Cortes was a former Trump staffer, presumably alongside Jason Miller. Senior Vice President Kaelan Dorr was a shill for Trump’s vaccine and all things Operation Warp Speed until Biden became the bag holder of these failed policies/product. The last name I will address is Gavin Wax, a conservative commentator and marketer who seems like he was against lockdowns from the beginning and is probably the most ideologically solid person they have.
Overall, I would conclude that their staff is a mixed bag, made worse by its CEO being the guy who did PR during the worst administrative decision in American history.
This will be GETTR’s second chance to break into the social media landscape. On the initial launch, users came, they saw, and they left. So while in the past week users have flocked over to GETTR, there is no reason to believe this spark of interest is sustainable, just like it was not for Rumble. When someone like Steven Crowder goes from 58K viewers on Rumble to 158.5K viewers following a YouTube suspension, it is not because users are unaware of Rumble, but that they would rather watch that same content on YouTube. Therein lies the problem for a most Alt-Techs—their users would prefer not to be there. These companies must be more than some Astroturf, carbon copy Twitter, YouTube, or Facebook if they seek to succeed. When someone like a Joe Rogan recites the same information on Twitter and GETTR, most users will just stay on Twitter.
We often stress Gab because of its parallel approach to business, but many of the voices testing the waters of GETTR, were already on Gab. Unlike GETTR, Gab is the proven free speech platform.
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