S1: Seen by many as a conservative alternative to other platforms, there’s already Facebook, there’s Twitter is parler. Why the need for Gettr?
S2: Hi, I’m Rachel Hampton.
S3: And I’m Madison Malone Kirchherr. You’re listening to Icymi. Why am I, in
S2: case you missed it,
S3: Slate’s podcast about Internet culture.
S2: And today, today we’re talking about bread.
S3: We’re talking about bread in person. I’m looking at your face. I’m looking at your face.
S2: It’s incredible. I’ve never seen your face before. This is a new experience.
S3: It’s not too crummy.
S2: Did we have to start off like the most? Must we?
S3: We did. And it’s actually your fault.
S2: How is this my fault?
S3: We are talking about bread, hence the bread puns, because no Twitter poll that you
S2: showed me, OK, just because I showed you this poll does not mean you need to make bread puns. And that is the last one I’m allowing for the show before I file for worker’s comp for emotional distress.
S3: I’ll make butter puns. Don’t worry. Oh, my God.
S2: Anyway, so this poll, this poll from Affleck’s sister on Twitter, Reese Reese tweeted, had this argument in a GC a.k.a. group chat, but I want to know the truth. Isn’t it very tacky for somebody to eat the free bread as soon as you get it? What I, I, I, I saw this poll and I was just like Taqi Frybread, the poll has three hundred sixty eight thousand seven hundred and forty four votes and they all voted overwhelmingly and by overwhelmingly, I mean ninety seven point three percent voted no. It is not Taqi because the following tweet Flixster says you should wait five minutes before reaching for the bread. If you get hungry, you should have had a pregame meal. And I just want to know who hurt this person, because the point of bread is that it’s on your table, that it’s warm and you eat it while it’s warm.
S3: I mean, personally, I think of the bread basket as the thing you pretend to ignore, but then slowly, tiny nibble by nibble, consume everything in it.
S2: There’s no pretending here. The thing about the bread basket is that it actually stretches your meal. You eat a lot of the bread and then you have more food to take home later. This is this is the hack. This is the Cheesecake Factory hack you needed.
S3: I’m just I’m I’m thinking about like all the table manners that were drilled into my brain. Is it, you know, napkins and elbows and which side of your plate the cup goes on really, really lacking in the when to eat the bread department because it’s such a weird rule.
S2: Like, you have to wait at least like can you imagine being at a table, having the bread in front of you and then waiting five minutes? Because the thing about the timing of a restaurant is that the breads put in front of you and then within five minutes they’re usually asking for your order. So you’re not going to eat any of the bread until you already thought. What is the purpose? I don’t know.
S3: I do really love how big this poll got, given that at six USTA has about a thousand Twitter followers. And if you search bread restaurant on Twitter, you will find like mega viral tweets.
S2: I will say that flick sister did not back down at any point. She later tweeted, OK, I get it. Y’all are tacky and proud. And then following tweet the next morning is like this note self apology and it reads, Good morning. After witnessing the outpour of responses to my question and having the ability to sleep on it, I have gained a new perspective on why the backlash was received. People can not help being tacky. It is
S2: I know this now. I never knew an opinion on a waiting five minutes bread would lead to people cussing me out. But what else to expect from tacky people? The essentials weren’t taught to my three percent. Thank you for writing so hard against. Even if we understand that restaurants are for socializing fast food are for eating Assab, which we love courage of convictions,
S3: I think that might be enough about bread for a hard pivot, though, away from the soft, pillowy embrace of free restaurant bread. We’re talking about Gettr, the Pro-Trump Twitter copycat that melted down in about as much time as it takes to, say, Pro-Trump Twitter copycat. That’s Gettr G.T. are apparently short for getting together, which Qube would like a word,
S2: perhaps a quick word, a quick bite. Anyway, Gettr is part of this long lineage of heavy air quotes here, pro free speech platforms that have kind of cropped up since Twitter decided to start occasionally enforcing its content moderation policies, mostly against my roommate. But since this has happened, there’s been Gabb, there’s been parler pathway.
S3: They really wanted it to be polite. But it is.
S2: Yeah, it’s parler. I don’t know why any body would read part where who was not French and think indeed I shall pronounce it partly anyway. There’s been rumball which that one also sandboxing Jim. Yeah I was like that sounds fake but it’s real. And now there’s gettr which also sounds fake and was launched and kind of immediately crashed and burned over the holiday weekend.
S3: Today we’re going to take you through the short lived rise and fall ish of gettr. It’s entirely unclear future and why these apps will absolutely keep popping up in the future.
S2: That’s what’s coming up after a quick break.
S3: Maybe some bread in the meantime.
S2: And we are back, if you are enjoying the show, please consider subscribing to Slate, plus our membership program. It helps support shows like this one. It’s only one dollar for the first month. There are no ads on any Slate podcasts. You get unlimited reading on the website, including access to every single article and advice column. You’re never going to hit that pay wall and you get bonus segments on shows like Slow Burn, Political and Culture Gap as hit parade, Big Moon, Little Moon. Mom and dad are fighting. The list goes on and you support specifically me and Madison. What more could you want to subscribe to? Go to Slate Dotcom. I see. Why am I plus that slate dotcom. I see. Why am I plus
S3: what more they could want. Rachel is an explanation of gettr. So let’s get into it.
S2: Madson, I’m going to really need you to give us the TDR on Gettr because I, I didn’t really know what this was. I’m still kind of unclear on what it is.
S3: I will give you the T.L. D-R on Gettr, if you will. The tilde on Gettr. All right. So Gettr Mak. It’s a Twitter clone launched by some members of the team of one former president, Donald J. Trump. You’ve maybe heard of him. Who could answer it is as you probably could have guessed, if you know anything about Trump’s relationship to Twitter, it’s being billed as an anti big tech bastion of free speech. No moderation, you know, no Jack Dorsey from his infrared sauna somewhere in the house about him. He’s got one of those fancy A.A. tech plans, his spirit or something.
S2: I just know about his weird intermittent fasting, which is really
S3: an eating disorder. Yes. So I try to think of the best way to describe it. There was this bizarre ad for Gettr posted on a video channel. It’s basically stock footage of people like delightfully pointing to pictures of Gettr website that have been superimposed over the stock images.
S2: Oh, I love those low budget videos.
S3: Yeah, but the ad promises that Gettr is going to be, quote unquote, gossipy and have virus truth.
S2: We like coronaviruses
S3: suits, OK? OK.
S2: OK, I’m with you. We alluded to this earlier.
S3: Trump was kicked off Twitter and Facebook and has been reportedly sniffing around for a new platform for some time.
S2: Is Trump on Gettr?
S2: So this entire platform was built by people of his team?
S3: Sort of. He’s not on Gettr. According to a person involved with the app who talked to Politico, the former president is going to make his own decision. It’s certainly there and ready for him. Should he make the decision? We would welcome that. They have an account reserved for him. But no, Donald Trump is not on Gettr. It’s just sort of trafficking on his name and General Dread Maggert Spirit.
S2: All right. This is already starting off about as expected.
S3: So who is on Gettr? It’s being led by Trump’s former spokesman, Jason Miller, which he’s the reason this app started getting more attention. Politico broke the story that Jason Miller was behind this app, its mission statement, fighting cancer culture, promoting common sense, defending free speech, just challenging social media monopolies. OK, see you there. And creating a true marketplace of ideas, quote, flex your First Amendment.
S2: Flex your First Amendment, huh? That sounds like an alternative title for a Schoolhouse Rock song.
S3: We love Schoolhouse Rock. So posts on Gettr can be up to seven hundred and seventy seven characters long. And I’m not going to lie. I Googled that number to see if it was like, I don’t know, hate speech. It appears not to be.
S2: Yeah, I was also. That’s a wildly specific
S3: seven seven seven. Yeah.
S2: That covers four kids. Are you are you sure. Does that mean I mean I think I don’t want to Google it. I’m going to look it up right now. Seven seven seven. Meaning OK, it’s not racist but apparently it’s an angel.
S3: No blessed gettr is blessed.
S2: Maybe it’s like a Christian thing.
S3: Perhaps the thing about Gettr from the limited amount of time I’ve spent on the site is it really does look like a low budget Twitter rip off. It’s sort of like if you had made Twitter for your homework and your friend asked to copy it, you’re like, yeah, just change up the answers a little bit. You would get Gettr. The platform immediately suggested that I follow Newsmax, Dinesh D’Souza and Mike Pompeo,
S2: the Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse,
S3: joining our little sample tweet from Jason Miller.
S2: Why is it a tweet?
S3: Oh, shit. A simple gettr simple. It just feels like it should be like at this point how Google is ubiquitous for searching something online. A tweet is a post.
S2: But who who’s using a non Google search engine in twenty twenty one. Do you yahoo. I do not Yahoo! All right.
S3: Read me the tweet. Get the get the post the most of the votes. Yeah. There we go. Hydroxy chloroquine works and nobody is going to take down this post or suspend this account.
S2: Is the first part controversial. Like I, I, I was
S3: so gettr was running in a beta mode and it launched officially on the Fourth of July. Baby, it’s a firewall. Uh huh. And here’s where the trouble begins. Half a million people sign up. Oh, that’s a lot. And immediately, security and privacy reach searcher’s. Tech reporters start pointing out that it’s not just that Gettr looks like a low budget Twitter clone, it’s that it’s functionally built as a low budget Twitter clone. So it has a lot of weaknesses and potential for privacy, exploitation, bugs. Ashkan Soltani, who is a privacy researcher, technologist type, points out that it’s possible to see a list of all the users that a given user has muted or blocked per of ice article. What fun, right?
S2: What that is a really fun little tidbit. I would love that feet like functionality, but that seems messy.
S3: Hackers are immediately able to scrape the platform’s API, which means it wasn’t built securely. So these people were able to get a hold of emails, addresses, usernames, birthdays. A bunch of high profile accounts on the platform get hacked, including the founder Jason Miller O. Marjorie Taylor Green o the moldy shirt wearing icon FENA nightmare Steve Bannon,
S2: the other three horsemen of the
S3: Apocalypse. All three of his polo stacked one on top of the other, the polo.
S2: Wait, so the founder of this Web site also gets
S3: that gets hacked, his bio ends up reading something like So-and-so was here, free Palestine,
S2: OK, A, love that. B, this seems messy. This seems not good.
S3: The platform is a mess. It is very quickly occupied by just loads of fake accounts, though our colleague Aaron Mak actually tried and failed to register as Donald Trump on Gettr.
S2: I love Aaron so much
S3: love a done along with some other key Republicans and Tiffany Trump. And he was unsuccessful in those attempts. OK. The platform is squatting on this handles. Should those people actually want to join? And if you wanna read more about that, we’ll link to Erin’s piece in the show notes.
S2: So they have the functionality to prevent Aaron from signing up as Donald Trump and verifying that only Donald Trump to sign up is Donald Trump. But they didn’t have the functionality to keep their founder from getting hacked.
S3: That’s correct. Do you know they also didn’t have the functionality for. Oh, God. Ali Breeland, a reporter at Mother Jones, said day one on the platform saw it absolutely flooded with hentai, which Google it and not at work. Also, some anime porn and notably a picture of Hillary Clinton’s head shot over a naked body.
S2: I have questions I don’t think any of them are appropriate to ask at work, so keep going.
S3: I mean, the thing is, Rachel, if I told you that I was building of totally unmoderated Internet social media platform and asked you to list the things you thought would start propagating on the site, you would guess anime porn you will.
S2: That’s one of the first things I would guess. I just why did you just remind me what in Prague
S3: was also on Google that at work?
S2: Oh, God, no, please don’t. Yeah. That again, yeah, if I mean, if you were to tell me you were going to start a no moderation website, I would immediately block you in all shapes and forms of my life questions. The answer to your question is no. But yeah, it’s obviously going to be full of porn. But are you telling me they don’t want the porn?
S3: I think they don’t want the poor. And I think they were hoping for a little more discourse, a little less,
S2: if you’re going to have a free speech platform, is going to be porn on it. That’s the point.
S3: The irony here is lost on no one, given that this is a platform built in response to the, you know, so-called censorship, the hyper moderation, if you will, of traditional social media platforms like Twitter,
S2: that’s laughable given like Twitter is notoriously terrible at moderating anything. And if it weren’t, you know, maybe the experience for people of color, women, trans people, queer people, anybody with like a soul, maybe they wouldn’t be violently harassed to the point that I think, if I’m not mistaken, at one point, Amnesty International commissioned a study that found the platform to be a violation of human rights, which I do feel if my human rights are violated every single day, I’m on the website. So thank you, Amnesty International, for giving me the right to say that. But that’s what’s so funny about these platforms cropping up, is that Twitter has just started enforcing any kind of moderation since late 2016 around basically since the election.
S3: Jack Dorsey tweeted, tweeted that tweet, he tweeted that tweet, tweeted that tweet. He tweeted that tweet which said something to the effect of like, what’s the next thing you want to see on Twitter? What can we build? Everyone in his mentions was like, fix the Nazis, Jack.
S2: Yeah. Get the Nazis off the website. And have the Nazis gotten off the website? I don’t actually think they have no.
S3: So platforms like Gettr, Gabb, Parler, they’re all part of this right wing news cycle where somebody will found a quote unquote, free speech platform, which is then flooded by just absolute bad takes.
S2: Also hentai, also hentai.
S3: But that’s the thing. It becomes flooded to the point where no group can use it, even the group that designed it for their own use, because there is no moderation. This is ultimately kind of useful.
S2: Yeah. Because then they get to go on this Fox News speaking tour talking about being silence. They go on the tour before the app starts. And then because of the lack of content moderation, eventually the app is usually taken off the App Store for violating terms of service, promoting violence, which is against the Apple store and Google Play stores, terms of service and the app being taken off only then. Veev, into this, I’m being Silens narrative, which is then repeated ad nauseum as the actual platform that these people are building is still functionally useless.
S3: And while we read about and learn about all of these cycles on traditional social media platforms,
S2: are we playing into that cycle by discussing it here? And I see. Why am I.
S3: Yes, we are here some hentai, no doubt.
S4: Sunny and Tom. What he can do. Sonic the Hedgehog
S3: earlier this year, Parler was actually booted from Amazon Web Services, which is the thing that hosts it online for advocating, as you mentioned, violence. It’s back now with all of its previous content deleted. And it’ll, according to parler it, will now be using A.I. and human moderators to watch for content that would violate its terms of service. Which is, you know, I that’s how Facebook does that and it works great.
S2: I was like I was like, when has I ever moderated any kind of content?
S3: Effectively, Parla is still banned from the Google Play store and the Apple App Store. Which means it has been sequestered to that far corner of the Internet, you’re describing where they can cry foul.
S2: Maybe it’s still banned because no one knows how to pronounce it. Maybe Apple.
S3: Everyone go watch Pirates of the Caribbean and then come back. Oh, my God. Become a right wing radical
S5: past Saint Paul partner, Paul. That’s the one, Paul. Paul. I highly doubt the one of the Mak told up parlay. That would be the French.
S2: Honestly, that movie informed perhaps the large portion of my sexuality. Keep going. I’m listening. I love a pirate. I’m just I’m like Black Sails. If you watch Black Sails, hit me up. If this makes sense of the podcast,
S3: the real thing that makes me how many times in this podcast can I say laugh. Ha ha. Laugh not funny. Ha ha. The thing that makes me not funny. Ha ha.
S2: Laugh about every time you say it, it makes me laugh.
S3: It’s not hard.
S2: Wow. Maybe you’re just funny. I don’t know
S3: who she said it. Can I have that tape on a loop. Sorry. The tape cut out there. It’s the thing that is funny though is that the January six seizure of the Capitol, January six riots were planned in no small part on mainstream platforms, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. So the idea that people are being censored on on these mainstream platforms and desperately need some private island on which to just roam free with the my pillow guide doesn’t totally hold water
S2: if but doesn’t totally hold water. You mean is just a leaky bucket in which all the water is falling out as soon as you put it in. Yes.
S3: The other thing we’re circling around here is you just cannot have an unmoderated platform online in twenty twenty one. I’m sorry. You simply cannot
S2: it just doesn’t work. Because the thing is, no matter how much free speech warriors is kind of cry about how much they want to say whatever the fuck they want, they don’t actually want anyone to be able to say what they want. They don’t want a website that is just anyone is able to spam to the point of unusable miss. That’s a word, and so if you don’t want that, you have to have some sort of moderation policy in place.
S3: There’s an interesting overlap, actually, between what I imagine. The folks who joined Gettr in earnest and created Gettr want for the platform and what many of us who use Twitter want, which is make this not suck, make this experience not be totally terrible. Allow me to engage with people in good faith.
S2: Well, and you’re giving them a lot more grounding.
S3: And I know I’m not saying their ideas aren’t good. One can engage in good faith about a bad faith idea. You and I are engaging about good faith ideas on Twitter.
S2: This is true. This is true.
S3: Perhaps not good faith, but you want to be able to have a discussion like like just on a functional level.
S2: You want to do an actual enjoyable user experience, which requires constant moderation on some level. And yet. They don’t want it and or they just want to create the news cycle where and when they get to scream about the fact that they want it without actually building it.
S3: A funny little tidbit about Gettr is that it reportedly received funding from a Chinese billionaire, which just you got a chuckle, right? Like the Pro-Trump Twitter is getting. Yes. Yeah. Money from from a Chinese strange bedfellows.
S2: Not that strange at all. Also, in terms of censorship and concentration, this is a fascinating little partnership. The crossover we never expected, crossover generation,
S3: the most ambitious crossover.
S2: That’s that’s what I was I was like, there’s a phrase you might have that I was so
S3: called most ambitious crossover event in history.
S2: I just I was so excited by being able to see your face that I forgot the words I was saying.
S3: What happened on 4th of July weekend certainly will not stop whomever is sitting in an office, the basement somewhere in a room, somewhere building, dreaming of building a new. Free speech platform, people are going to continue to raise very real money to sell the promise of no moderator Internet idol, where you can let your wildest hatefilled dreams run amok. The Mak Mak.
S2: I mean, it’s really just the story of the Internet. Someone’s always just going to build something worse over and over again. And we’ll be here to discuss it every single time,
S3: just in case you miss it. Gettr done. But what we don’t want you to miss, though, is our show, so we’ll be back in your feed on Wednesday, subscribe. It’s the best way to make sure you hear everything we’re saying. You can always follow us on Twitter at Icymi. Underscore pod. And you can always shoot us an email at Icymi. Slate Dotcom, send us a little note, little voice memo, little.
S2: Mmm, little free speech given that you’ve just discovered
S3: not a little hentai.
S2: No hentai our IP. I don’t think either you supervisor would like that. I see why is produced by Daniel Schroeder, our supervising producer out there, John Forrest Wickman and Alegra Frank or Slate Culture Editors, and Gabe Brothas, editorial director of Audio see online
S3: or on Gettr.
S2: What’s the Gettr version of it? Is this still a timeline? Probably it’s the timeline I’m cutting
S2: not the fucking red.