Former President Donald Trump’s team quietly launched a new social media platform on Thursday, billing it as an alternative to Big Tech sites.
The platform, called GETTR, advertised its mission statement as “fighting cancel culture, promoting common sense, defending free speech, challenging social media monopolies, and creating a true marketplace of ideas.”
Trump’s former spokesman, Jason Miller, is leading the platform. A person familiar described the site as similar to Twitter.
Trump’s involvement with the project is unclear as is whether or not he will set up an account on GETTR and use it, though his proximity to Miller suggests that this may be the latest attempt to get him back in the churn of social media
The former president has been looking for alternative ways to engage with his base online after having been booted off Twitter and suspended from Facebook after encouraging the Capitol rioters on January 6. And his prior effort to engage online—through the launch of a professional blog—ended quickly amid widespread ridicule and poor readership.
GETTR is one of the highest-profile projects in a larger ecosystem of pro-MAGA tech and social media platforms that have blossomed on the right, largely fueled by a sense that Big Tech is attempting to silence conservative and pro-Trump ideology from being disseminated online. In recent months, it was widely reported that the Trump team was searching for a platform on which to re-establish his online presence, either by buying a company outright and rebranding it as his exclusive platform, or becoming a featured draw.
The app first went live on the Google and Apple app stores in mid-June and was most recently updated Wednesday. It’s been downloaded over one thousand times on each, drawing positive reviews from users.
A description for GETTR on the app stores calls it a “non-bias social network for people all over the world.” The app is rated “M” for mature, meaning it is recommended for users 17 and older.
GETTR’s user interface appears similar to that of Twitter. Initial promotional materials for GETTR on the app stores displayed posts of users celebrating the House of Representatives no longer requiring masks on the floor of the chamber.
Initial trending topics on the app included the hashtags “#trump,” “#virusorigin,” “#nra” and “#unrestrictedbioweapon.” Those tags refer to the newfound and still unproven refrain from Republicans that China created the Covid-19 virus in a lab as a bioweapon.
Whether GETTR will succeed is dubious at best. Their last attempt to replicate his twitter feed, a site called “From The Desk of Donald Trump”, was widely derided as nothing more than a blog, barely received any web traffic, and shut down less than a month later.
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