‘RIP GETTR, 2021-2021’ gleefully wrote one mainstream Twitter blue-tick just months ago. Towards the end of last year Jason Miller’s social media platform indeed seemed fated to go the same way as previous Twitter alternatives such as Gab and Telegram i.e. downhill fast. In the instantaneous world of social media gratification ‘teething problems’ does not cut the mustard. You get just one chance to get it right. But have reports of GETTR’s demise been greatly exaggerated? Maybe.
For lo and behold in the first days of 2022 GETTR has arisen and how. It all began when MRNA expert Dr Robert Malone, whose account had over 500,000 followers, was permanently suspended by Twitter between Xmas and New Year. His crime, so it appears, had been to challenge the mainstream-pharma narrative concerning Covid vaccinations – what the social media platform termed as ‘repeated violations’ of its Covid-19 ‘misinformation policy.’
Malone promptly opened up an account with GETTR. Following an appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast in which the physician outlined his Twitter black-listing, the show’s eponymous host followed suit by joining GETTR himself. Within 48 hours Malone had collected over 150,000 followers while Rogan scooped up 8.2 million. Yes, GETTR really is that big. And it’s growing exponentially. Over in the UK GB News’ contributor Neil Oliver has just announced that he too has made the break from Twitter to GETTR. Abandon ship!
Billing itself as a censorship-free platform where exchange of ideas is welcomed, GETTR should be able to position itself to be everything that Twitter is not: a non-partisan space which supports free speech. For a company coming to be increasingly defined by bans and suspensions, a platform which actively seeks to suppress and censor certain information, GETTRs re-emergence might just spell big trouble for the titans of Twitter.
I say might because the mainstream response has been nothing if not predictable. Smearing GETTR in terms of links to not only Russia, but also China has been predictable enough – first port of call – only port - for the vast majority of ‘liberal’ media. In other words, the more successful GETTR becomes the more frantic the efforts will be to make the platform toxic. The assumption is that by linking it to ‘Nazis’ and ‘Russians’ etc. the average citizen will be too scared to engage. However, with the likes of Rogan, Malone and Oliver joining up, the smears may lose much if not all their power.
Indeed, the MSM would very much prefer punters to stay put, remain on Twitter where not only can they be marginalised via the platform’s litany of sneaky tricks which includes but is not limited to shadow-banning, but where they can also be exposed to its incessant liberal bias from support of the Democrats and climate alarmism through its promotion of Covid-19 ‘vaccines’ on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry. Twitter’s stature as an establishment gate-keeper is beyond question.
On the surface then it’s looking good for Mr Miller’s new-kid-on-the-block: over 150,000 joined the platform on a single day in January. While weighty conservative/libertarian names are joining up and bringing with them followers from Twitter, like Gab, Parler and Telegram before them GETTR faces an almost insurmountable challenge before it can finally dislodge Twitter as the Kings of social media.
That challenge will not necessarily be navigating the hit n’ smear pieces produced by an increasingly irrelevant liberal commentariat, rather it will likely come from the unholy alliance which has formed between Big Tech and the mainstream media. While bastions of liberalism such as the Guardian and BBC haemorrhage users, Google and co can be relied to promote these failing brands with even more zeal, promoting their pages to the top of its searches and thereby giving the false impression of engagement as well as authority. In other words, Big Tech can and will create a fake reality in which, despite desultory figures, liberal media will be presented as wildly popular. Optics matter.
Thus, politicians, physicians, entertainers and other blue-ticks will remain cocooned on Twitter. Here, they’ll happily re-tweet Guardian and BBC stories blissfully unaware that they are part of a dwindling tribe. But it won’t matter. Twitter and friends will continue to create an environment in which a minority can bask, believing their opinions are shared by the vast majority who long ago switched to GETTR. Inevitably, Twitter will become an echo chamber. Like its colleagues at the BBC and Guardian, thanks to its connections to wealth and power, it will however continue to exert massively more influence than its numbers actually merit.
GETTR is riding high right now. In 2022 it may well overtake Twitter in terms of subscribers and engagement. Usurping the establishment’s social media enforcer though might prove to be an impossible task. As is stands, GETTR and Twitter will simply co-exist, incompatible and ever more indifferent to one other, symbols of a divided demos that may never again heal.