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Although social media platforms have been censoring conservative content since before the 2016 election, the stark reality about the threat Silicon Valley poses to free speech only fully materialized in January this year, when Twitter, Facebook, and other major platforms took the extraordinary decision to ban a sitting president from their platforms.
After Donald Trump was banned, it appeared inevitable that Parler, a free-speech-focused platform already used by millions of conservatives, would become the main competitor to Twitter. This writer even penned a column following Trump’s ban from Twitter arguing that the former president should join and get behind the platform as part of a wider fightback against Big Tech.
Then disaster happened. As Parler’s userbase began to explode, Silicon Valley struck back. Citing the January 6th riots, Amazon announced that they would no longer provide the website’s servers, leaving them in a state of paralysis. To compound their woes, the Parler app was subsequently banned from both the Apple and Google Play stores, meaning its millions of users were unable to access it from their mobile devices.
After more than a month in the wilderness, Parler relaunched on new servers. Yet the platform was plagued by performance issues that made it almost impossible to use. As Parler was finally getting back on its feet, plans to create a new company were already well in motion. Jason Miller, a former Trump adviser, had successfully received funding from a consortium that included the Chinese businessman and anti-communist dissident Guo Wengui, to create a similar platform based on similar ideals.
GETTR was launched in July this year, and despite a few understandable hiccups, it has experienced record levels of growth since then. Some of the platform’s highest-profile users include War Room host Steve Bannon, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and the Fox News host Sean Hannity.
“We created GETTR because we wanted to establish a social media platform that allows people to express their political views, while still having clear rules and terms of service that keep the platform a safe environment for all users,” Miller told El American in an interview.
“That means we’ve been able to create a space at GETTR where people are able to debate ideas and still have a positive experience, free from Big Tech oppression,” he continued. “We’ve also been able to avoid some of the pitfalls of competitors who have been de-platformed for having literally no moderation system.
As users flocked to Gettr, it became abundantly clear that the market was further fragmenting. Yet in mid-October came an announcement that once again would raise serious questions about which platform would ultimately win out.
After months of speculation about the former president creating his own platform, the Trump Organization confirmed the launch of a new entity known as the Trump Media and Technology Group. As part of this bold venture, Trump would also launch his own social media company named Truth Social, which describes itself as a “‘Big Tent’ social media platform that encourages an open, free, and honest global conversation without discriminating against political ideology.” It is set for launch early next year.
Miller reportedly explored the possibility of working directly with Trump, although the two sides ultimately failed to reach an agreement. When asked whether Gettr can succeed alongside the likes of Truth Social, Miller explained that he does not believe that Truth Social will be so much as a competitor than a complementary part of a whole new ecosystem.
“Following its successful launch, not only is GETTR the fastest-growing social media platform in history, but installs of the app grew by 19 times in the week after President Donald Trump announced Truth Social, indicating that there is enormous demand for alternatives to platforms like Twitter and Facebook. We don’t think this is a story about GETTR versus Truth Social, but rather one about multiple new platforms challenging the Silicon Valley monopolies.”
“Our offerings are also different. We understand Truth Social will be focused on subscription-streaming services and conservative programming while at GETTR, we’re focused on revolutionary new features like live-streaming, a short-video network, and two-coin crypto and blockchain-based payments system.”
Like most analysts, Miller holds the view that ultimately the platform that comes out on top will be that which offers the best products and services. “As the market begins to mature, we believe that stronger players with the best product will emerge,” he says. “That said, a rising tide lifts all ships, and our stunning growth in the wake of Truth Social proves that.”
“More and more people are starting to wake up to the politically discriminating practices of Big Tech and are seeking out alternatives,” he continued. “The blatant shadow banning and censorship practiced by Silicon Valley doesn’t just apply to conservatives. Many liberals are waking up to this new reality too, and we welcome them to practice their right to free speech here on GETTR.”
One of the biggest problems faced by emerging social media companies is that their product is significantly inferior to the likes of Facebook and Twitter, organizations that have spent over a decade perfecting their functionalities and overall user experience. However, the platform is in constant development with new features being added all the time, including the ability to use cryptocurrencies.
“Next year will be a huge year for GETTR,” Miller added. “We are in a beta stage with live-streaming and are preparing to launch our short-video network which will rival both TikTok and Instagram. We also look forward to announcing our GETTR Pay platform which will be cryptocurrency-friendly and other new features including encrypted direct messaging and the ability to tip your favorite content creators.”
It is impossible to say which of these platforms will win out in the long run, although GETTR certainly appears well placed to succeed. However, other platforms are not down and out. Parler recently announced plans to help Melania Trump to launch an NFT, or a non-fungible token, titled “Melania’s Vision,” in her first public endeavor since her husband left office in January. The former First Lady has also joined the platform as part of the deal. Meanwhile, Gab continues to report strong growth, despite evidence that it is a haven for extremist activity.
The only certainty is that if conservatives and freedom-minded individuals wish to defeat the censorship and monopolistic behavior of Silicon Valley, they must embrace the alternative technological offerings that are constantly coming to fruition.
You can follow Ben Kew and El American on Gettr
Ben Kew is English Editor of El American. He studied politics and modern languages at the University of Bristol where he developed a passion for the Americas and anti-communist movements. He previously worked as a national security correspondent for Breitbart News. He has also written for The Spectator, Spiked, PanAm Post, and The Independent
Ben Kew es editor en inglés de El American. Estudió política y lenguas modernas en la Universidad de Bristol, donde desarrolló una pasión por las Américas y los movimientos anticomunistas. Anteriormente trabajó como corresponsal de seguridad nacional para Breitbart News. También ha escrito para The Spectator, Spiked, PanAm Post y The Independent.