Between the last presidential election and the lingering pandemic, the past two years have been a turning point for social media giants — and not a good one.
Big tech companies that once prided themselves on facilitating the free flow of information and their commitment to liberal democracy now routinely censor users and content. Platforms that once had great potential to hold governments accountable have allowed themselves to become the arm of government to enforce their word. An industry that once promised to disrupt the media landscape has taken root there.
It turns out that this kind of censorship and discrimination from Big Tech isn’t just bad for democracy, it’s also a bad business model.
A perfect example happened at the end of 2021 and the beginning of the new year.
In late December, Twitter banned Dr. Robert Malone, who contributed to mRNA vaccine technology, for his criticism of coronavirus vaccines. Malone then appeared on Joe Rogan’s hugely popular podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience.” The platforms immediately censored the excerpts from this interview. However, during the conversation, Dr. Malone mentioned GETTR, a new social media platform that champions free speech, as an alternative to the giants of Silicon Valley.
Just after the new year, Twitter also permanently banned sitting congresswoman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) for her comments on COVID-19. Facebook temporarily suspended it the following day.
Following these incidents, Rogan announced on Sunday January 2 that it had opened an account on GETTR, which saw a flood of new users. More than 171,000 people signed up that day alone, more than any day since GETTR launched on July 4, 2021. The next day, nearly double that number – over 341,000 – signed up to GETTR. Even more joined on Tuesday, and from Sunday to Wednesday morning, more than 707,000 people had followed Rogan’s lead.
Rogan and GETTR are disruptors in traditional news media and social media landscapes – a welcome development no matter who is disrupting.
Some online commentators wonder if social media behemoths have finally censored themselves in a downward spiral.
We launched GETTR this summer in direct response to what was already a sea change in the online marketplace, betting that users would choose a platform committed to protecting their freedom of expression and that of others. GETTR has seen explosive growth in just a few months – it is now approaching 4 million users, a testament to its appeal in a rapidly changing social media market.
The thirst for a social media forum that does not censor or discriminate is not unique to the United States either. GETTR is becoming a truly international platform, and it shows in our data.
Over half a million users have registered in Brazil. One day in December, Germany became the top country for new registrations. France recently saw a 1,360% increase in new users in a single day. The people of these very different countries have one thing in common: a shared belief that the free and uncensored exchange of information online is essential for healthy democracies.
GETTR is designed to allow for a wider range of expression than other social media platforms. Instead of having to condense conversations to 280 characters, GETTR users can post messages using up to 777 characters. Users can post longer videos, with GETTR allowing three minutes at a time, while Twitter limits two minutes and 20 seconds, and edit those videos on the platform itself (a feature Twitter doesn’t offer ). Our live streaming capabilities are receiving rave reviews in the beta phase, and users can live stream from GETTR itself, instead of relying on another app.
And these features are just the beginning. Later this year, we’ll be rolling out even more exciting and innovative features that make GETTR truly unique.
Just as we believe in the healthy exchange of ideas, we also believe in the healthy marketplace of competition. Users learn that there are other options for hearing and being heard, and the results speak for themselves. Every time a new social media platform enters the arena, registrations on GETTR increase dramatically. Our constant growth is an indicator that our product is the best.
That said, however, we don’t see GETTR as just another competitor in the industry.
GETTR is a direct challenge to the monopoly of online political thought that Big Tech titans on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have created and believe they possess. GETTR is a disrupter, if you will.
These companies routinely censor, flag, demonetize, or ban conservative views, and sometimes even facts that go against pre-sanctioned beliefs of the leftist establishment.
Millions of social media users on both sides of the aisle want more online freedom, but it’s becoming clear that Big Tech isn’t listening. We are, which is why social media disruptors ended 2021 in an incredibly strong position and start 2022 even stronger.
Jason Miller served as a senior adviser to President Donald J. Trump during the 2016 and 2020 campaigns and is the managing director of the social media platform GETTR.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.