Trump’s former senior adviser, Jason Miller, is behind the site, which is called Gettr. Mediaite reported Wednesday night that he stepped away from his post to launch the Twitter-like platform. Miller shared the story on his Twitter profile, which still lists him as a Newsmax contributor.
The timing would not seem fortuitous, given criminal charges handed down on Thursday against the Trump Organization and its longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg. But, given Trump’s ability to turn outrage and a media firestorm to his benefit, maybe the timing is just right.
It’s been reported in the past few months that Trump was considering launching his own social network. The former president has been in search of a new megaphone ever since Twitter permanently banned him and Facebook suspended his account for two years.
Those actions came in response to Trump’s posts before and after the siege on the U.S. Capitol. (An ill-fated series of “blog” posts titled “From the Desk of Donald Trump” came and went this spring after gaining little traction.)
The Hill recently reported that Trump and conservative-leaning platform Parler “had been in discussions even before the Capitol riot about the former president joining the platform, with Parler offering Trump 40 percent of the company’s gross revenues,” but those discussions broke down over Trump’s insistence that the platform ban those who criticized him.
So what of Gettr itself? Before the news of the indictments broke, it had a little over 1,000 downloads on the Apple App Store. Shortly after the indictment news, the number was about the same. Out of more than 1,000 ratings, it received nearly unanimous praise with an average of 4.9 out of 5 stars. Many of the “Most Helpful” comments seemed more political than technical in their praise, however, with titles like “Escape from digital tyranny” and “back to free speech.”
The platform looks to be a fairly simple Twitter knockoff that allows users to dialogue with other Gettr-ites, and post short bits of commentary along with news stories, photos and video. The app’s grammatically challenged description in the App Store reads, “GETTR is a non-bias (sic) social network for people all over the world. GETTR tried the best to provide best (sic) software quality to the users, allow anyone to express their opinion freely.” It also touts a “quick sign up process,” which apparently only requires an email address. That’s a breach of safety protocol on many social media platforms, which require more verification these days to eliminate bots and trolls.