By ArLuther Lee, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Troy Warren for CNT
Donald Trump’s political team is betting on another big social media venture only a month after shutting down the former president’s highly-touted blog that failed to resonate with his audience.
This time Trump appears to be competing directly with the heavyweight social media platforms that banned him after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol after his team launched a new app called GETTR, which went live on the Google and Apple app stores in mid-June, according to a report by Politico.
The app has already been downloaded more than a thousand times in each store, and is garnering mostly positive reviews, Politico reports. A description for GETTR on the app stores calls it a “non-bias social network for people all over the world.”
Trump senior adviser Jason Miller is leading the Twitter-esque platform, whose mission statement declares a commitment to “fighting cancel culture, promoting common sense, defending free speech, challenging social media monopolies, and creating a true marketplace of ideas.”
It’s unclear, however, whether Trump is directly involved in the project or if he plans to set up a GETTR account for himself.
What is known is that the former president has been seeking an alternative to connect with his followers since being permanently banned on social media the day after the riot, with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube citing further security risks from Trump’s ability to rile up his supporters with further conspiracy theories about the election.
Earlier this month Trump decided to permanently shut down his new webpage called “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump” — a blog where the former president was free to attack political foes and continue to make unsubstantiated claims about election fraud. But the site ultimately struggled to engage audiences a little more than a month after it appeared online.
“From the Desk of Donald J. Trump” has been scrubbed from the former president’s website after going live about a month earlier. It “will not be returning,” senior aide Miller said in an email to CNBC. “It was just auxiliary to the broader efforts we have and are working on.”
It’s unclear whether the blog was the same venture mentioned by sources inside Trump’s team who announced the former president was searching for a platform to re-establish his online presence, either by buying a company outright and rebranding it as his exclusive platform or creating something entirely new, Politico reports.
Back in March, Miller vowed Trump would create his own platform “in probably about two to three months.”
“And this is something that I think will be the hottest ticket in social media,” he told Fox News at the time. “It’s going to completely redefine the game, and everybody is going to be waiting and watching to see what exactly President Trump does,” Miller said, adding that “This new platform is going to be big,” and predicting Trump will draw “tens of millions of people.”
GETTR is being seen in conservative circles as a major test of whether an alternative, pro-MAGA platform can effectively nudge its way into a market dominated by Big Tech companies.
“We’re all aware of Big Tech’s ever-increasing censorship of conservative voices and their commitment to serve the radical progressive agenda,” said Rep. Bob Latta of Ohio, during a five-hour virtual hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in March, in which the CEOs of the Big Three social media companies faced questions about their role in inciting the deadly riot at the Capitol in January.
Republicans have continued to claim the ban on Trump amounts to illegal censorship and an infringement on free speech rights, despite terms and conditions by the platforms that prohibit misinformation and threats of violence.
After more than a decade on Twitter, Trump has now been without his favorite method of communicating with his supporters for more than six months.
The social media giant swiftly suspended an account launched by the former president’s political team in early May that attempted to circumvent the ban and resurrect Trump’s profile.
That same week, an independent oversight board for Facebook extended the ban on the former president but called on the social media company to revisit the issue in six months, calling the “indefinite” ban on Trump unreasonable.
Frustration over the bans had been building inside Trump’s team due to the inability of his staff to post anything to their social media pages that featured the 45th president speaking.
In late March, Facebook took down a video of Trump being interviewed by his daughter-in-law Lara Trump and posted to her page, demonstrating that the ban would continue to be enforced even as the former president has no access to an account.
In Other NEWS