A pro-Trump social media app that launched last month has discovered a problem with total free speech in the digital world: The Islamic States has embraced the platform to share its graphic propaganda, reported Politico.
GETTR — which is pronounced similarly to Twitter, the social media platform that banned former President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot — launched last month and has since attracted scores of posts from followers or supporters of the terrorist organization ISIS, Politico reported.
The Hill reported that GETTR was started by Jason Miller, a former Trump spokesperson and campaign assistant, as a new social media home for conservatives who want to avoid “censorship” from platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
- Miller told the Hill in a statement that “ISIS is trying to attack the MAGA movement because President Trump wiped them off the face of the earth,” adding that the only ISIS members remaining are “keyboard warriors.”
- Miller used his Twitter account on Tuesday to call the Politico story a “hit piece” while accusing Ayad of being “funded by Big Tech.”
Here’s what Politico reported
Politico’s Mark Scott and Tina Nguyen also reported that Islamic State content found on GETTR was a “mere fraction” of the largely conservative-focused media found on the young social media platform.
- “Still, the fact that such jihadi material was readily available on the social network, and GETTR’s failure to clamp down on such extremism, underlined the difficulties that the company faces in balancing its free speech ethos with growing demands to stop terrorist-related material from finding an audience online,” Scott and Nguyen wrote.
Islamic State-related posts included “graphic videos of beheadings, viral memes that promote violence against the West and even memes of a militant executing Trump in an orange jumpsuit similar to those used in Guantanamo Bay,” according to Politico.
- Moustafa Ayad, an executive director at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, told Politico that ISIS was “very quick to exploit GETTR.”
- A day after an Islamic State-associated Facebook account said “Oh, Trump announced his new platform. Inshallah, all the mujahideen will exploit that platform,” 15 or more ISIS related accounts joined GETTR,” Ayad told Politico. That number has since grown to around 250 regular posters, according to Politico’s research.
Offensive content on GETTR
On Tuesday afternoon, I registered for a GETTR account to understand more about the platform. I was interested to see if GETTR was littered with graphic or horrifying content and, as a veteran of the global war on terror, was somewhat familiar with ISIS propaganda.
After several hours on the social media platform, it was unclear what percentage of GETTR actually harbored ISIS-propaganda, but none of the content GETTR suggested to me as a new user was ISIS-related.
Just like Twitter, GETTR users can customize their newsfeed and choose which voices and other users they follow. During my time on the platform Tuesday, it was clear that a majority of these voices were conservative members of the American political and media world.
- If a GETTR user did post these materials, the Term of Use outlined that the social media platform may “reject, refuse to post or remove any posting.”
Once successfully creating the account, I could access a homepage screen that was formatted similarly to Twitter.
GETTR suggested I follow conservative media company Newsmax (which already had 1.32 million followers), actress and anti-cancel culture activist Gina Carano (nearly a million followers) and former Trump administration Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (1.58 million followers).
- Each of those accounts included a red “V,” presumable for “verified,” and was displayed similarly to the verified blue checks of Twitter.
- A search for Donald Trump on GETTR’s search tool resulted in no official-looking account — or no red Vs — for the former president. Politico reported that Trump was not directly involved with GETTR and had not registered for an account.
A direct search for ISIS-related posts on Tuesday did result in videos of graphic combat footage and at least one video that included images of a severed head and a man holding what appears to be an ISIS flag.
- It took about a minute from the #isis search to find a beheading video, but there did not appear to be an abundance of similarly graphic content.
- I was able to report the post to GETTR under the category of “Sensitive content (Nudity, Porn, Violence, Gore)” and received a message that the report had been successfully submitted.
Looking for something a little less traumatizing, I searched for “Disney.” That resulted in a large percentage of Newsmax stories about Disney and several posts by conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza.