Trumpist Gettr Social Network Continues To Speed Run Content Moderation Learning Curve: Bans, Then Unbans, Roger Stone
from the welcome-to-the-content-moderation-game dept
Remember Gettr? That’s the Trumpist social network run by former Trump spokesperson (and vexatious lawsuit filer) Jason Miller that promised to be supportive of “free speech.” As we point out what happens with every new social network that jumps into the space with promises to “support free speech!” and “not censor!” before long they will begin to realize content moderation is required to keep your site running — and soon they discover that content moderation will involve difficult choices. And, sometimes, it involves making mistakes.
Of course, whenever Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or whoever else note that they made a “mistake” with a content moderation decision and reverse it, there are always some people who insist it couldn’t possibly be a mistake and must be [insert conspiratorial reason here]. So I find it hilarious that on Wednesday, Gettr got to experience all this as well. First, Trump buddy and admitted “dirty trickster” Roger Stone went on Gab — another such social network — to whine about how he was “censored” by Gettr, claiming it was because he had made what he believed were disparaging remarks about Miller (and Steve Bannon).
"Gettr actually suspended my account," Roger Stone wrote on Gab. He further claimed that Steve Bannon and Jason Miller are lovers of sorts – and his banning was due to being critical of the duo.
— Zachary Petrizzo (@ZTPetrizzo) August 25, 2021
This graphic alone is pretty hilarious, given all the people who insisted that Gettr doesn’t do moderation.
A few hours later, Jason Miller told Salon reporter Zachary Petrizzo, that it was all a mistake, and blamed the problem of a bunch of fake Stone accounts that the site was trying to get rid of. In the process, Miller claimed, they “accidentally” deleted the real Stone’s account. The timing coming right after Stone made remarks about Miller was, apparently, entirely coincidental.
“Multiple fake Roger Stone accounts were suspended following user complaints, but his real Gettr account was inadvertently suspended too,” Miller told Salon via email. “His correct account is currently active, and the imposter accounts have all been removed.”
It’s almost like… running a social media account with malicious actors are trying to abuse requires content moderation, and that will often involve making mistakes, rather than, say, “bias” or desires to silence particular people.
Who knows why Gettr actually suspended Stone? These kinds of things happen all the time on all the other social media sites too. It doesn’t mean it’s malicious or directed at silencing a critic (though, honestly, there’s a higher likelihood that is true with a site like Gettr than with Twitter or Facebook, that actually have real policies in place and a history of training staff to moderate judiciously). It could actually be a mistake. Just like Twitter and Facebook sometimes make mistakes.
I’m still waiting for Miller and his fans to realize that all of these challenges that Gettr is facing are no different than the ones that other social media apps faced — and that maybe all their earlier complaints of “censorship” were just as bullshit then as the claims about Gettr being censorial today are. I get the feeling that I’ll be waiting a long, long time for that recognition to set in.