from the freeze-peach dept
Just as more news of what Trump wanted from Parler breaks, comes the news that his somewhat infamous former aide, Jason Miller, has launched a social media site called GETTR. It should be noted that through all of the rumors about Trump starting his own social network, it was usually Jason Miller who was claiming that it was on the way.
Apparently, though, Miller stepped down from his role as Trump spokesperson to run GETTR — and there are reports claiming that the originator of GETTR is someone trying to build “an important link between China and the West” with GETTR and a series of related apps.
Separately, a Bloomberg White House reporter says Trump isn’t planning on joining GETTR and is still planning yet another social network. So… we’ll see.
Of course, like every single social media site, while this one claims it’s all about free speech, its terms of service make it clear it can kick you off the platform for any reason whatsoever:
I like how they take phrases directly from Section 230 and insert it there. Though it’s also amusing that they add “inappropriate” to “otherwise objectionable,” seeing as Trumpworld has been trying to delete “otherwise objectionable” from 230 entirely, and limiting 230 to just a specific list of “bad” stuff. Yet, GETTR seems to be claiming even broader rights to moderate.
And, not surprisingly, the company is already, on its first day, dealing with some moderation issues as it appears that people trolling the site are flooding it with junk:
It turns out that every social media site, so as not to be filled with garbage, has to do some moderation. Though it’ll be fun to square the views of people who insist that social media sites shouldn’t do any such moderation with the need to clear out the “lewd anime pics and the “pig poop balls” meme” from the #QAnon tag.
But there are some other concerns as well. People are noticing that not only does GETTR look remarkably similar to Twitter (with a slightly larger character limit — 777 characters), but that it seems to be grabbing a bunch of data directly from Twitter. Indeed, in what appears like a move to “boost” user numbers, reports say that if you use your own Twitter account name, GETTR will “import” all your followers — apparently by creating fake ghost accounts for all of those accounts.
GETTR?s app also claims to offer new users the ability to ?import copies of your content from Twitter to GETTR.? And evidence on the site indicates that the new platform is also allowing users to import their actual Twitter followers ? who somehow end up with GETTR accounts of their own.
For example, Republican Senate candidate Sean Parnell in Pennsylvania, had over 175,000 followers on GETTR as of Thursday afternoon, despite only joining the platform Thursday. His follower count on GETTR is identical to his follower count on Twitter.
The same goes for Murtaugh, Trump?s former 2020 communications director, who had amassed over 220,000 followers on both GETTR and Twitter as of Thursday afternoon.
?Tweets are up to the point you join, it won?t continuously suck them in. The idea is we want people to move from Twitter to Gettr,? said the person involved with the app. The person added that the app does not harvest the users current Twitter followers for the app, and again noted it is in Beta.
I do wonder how Twitter will feel about that. Of course, to some extent, this is somewhat like the vision Twitter has for Bluesky, but that hasn’t been implemented yet. And just pulling out all of someone else’s data raises… quite a few questions. It does seem worth mentioning that the ACCESS bill that was introduced in Congress recently would require Twitter and others to allow such exporting of data to other services.
But GETTR seems to be going, well, to a fairly extreme level. To get images from Twitter… it’s hotlinking images DIRECTLY FROM TWITTER. In other words, it’s not grabbing those images, it’s just displaying them as hosted by Twitter. That’s… bold. In some ways it’s just reskinning Twitter.
I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing. As I’ve discussed for years, being able to let users snarf their own data out of one service and into another is a good thing for competition. But… it can also raise a bunch of other questions regarding privacy, data control, possibly copyright, and (under the decision in the Facebook/Power case), possible CFAA violations. That is to say, I hope GETTR has some good lawyers lined up. The fact that they apparently fucked up their DMCA registration doesn’t bode well on that front.
Anyway, I guess we’re now going to see if GETTR gets to speed run the content moderation learning curve the same way Parler did — and how it deals with content moderation and (better yet) questions around Section 230.
Filed Under: content moderation, copyright, donald trump, hotlinking, jason miller, section 230, social media
Companies: gettr, twitter