Amid the debates over Big Tech companies and censorship, a new social media platform has emerged to champion free speech.

The platform Gettr officially launched July 4 with a mission of “fighting cancel culture, promoting commonsense, defending free speech, challenging social media monopolies, and creating a true marketplace of ideas,” according to the platform’s website.

Gettr’s promise to users is “you’re never going to be censored or deplatformed or cancel-cultured because of your political beliefs,” Jason Miller, a former aide to President Donald Trump who is the company’s CEO, says on “The Daily Signal Podcast.”

Miller joins the show to explain why Gettr is a different kind of social media platform and to discuss Trump’s recently announced class-action lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter, and Google over censorship. 

We also cover these stories: 

  • Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra says it’s “absolutely our business” to know who has and has not been vaccinated against the coronavirus.  
  • The International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government announce that fans will not be allowed to physically attend the Tokyo Olympics, which begin in two weeks, because of COVID-19.
  • The former ethics chief under President Barack Obama speaks out against the current White House ethics plan allowing the sale of Hunter Biden’s art. 

Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript.

Virginia Allen: As debates over Big Tech and social media platforms continue, there is now an alternative called Gettr. The social media platform Gettr officially launched on July 4 with the mission of fighting cancel culture, promoting common sense, defending free speech, challenging social media monopolies, and creating a true marketplace of ideas. And today I am so pleased to be joined by the CEO of Gettr, Jason Miller. Thank you so much for being here, Jason.

Jason Miller: Hey. Thanks for having me.

Allen: So tell us a little bit of the history behind Gettr and how it came to launch on July 4.

Miller: Yeah, so, really what we’re seeing here is kind of the convergence of this cancel culture movement that’s going on in the U.S. and also the suppression of free speech that we saw so much last year on the campaign trail.

I mean, I think really kind of a seminal moment was the suppression of the Hunter Biden story, the fact that Twitter and Facebook and other news outlets and Big Tech really coordinated, or colluded, to use the Democrats’ terms against them, to keep that story quiet.

Post-election polling shows that 1 out of every 6 Biden voter would have reconsidered their vote or thought differently if they knew about the Hunter story and really that broader Biden family corruption. So that was a big deal on the campaign trail.

Obviously, as President [Donald] Trump’s former senior adviser for both of his two presidential runs, what I saw happen to him following Jan. 6, the way that his First Amendment rights were taken away, the way that he was deplatformed, the fact that—I know he said this in his press conference, but if they’ll do it to a president of the United States, they’ll do it to you. They won’t even blink.

And so, started looking, was working kind of both within and outside of President Trump’s orbit to figure out how we can get another platform going. I think there have been some alternatives that have put out there, but too often, folks who are kind of the anti-establishment or outsiders are always told you can have your own platforms, but they’re going to look junior varsity. They’re going to look inferior.

So we wanted to make sure we had superior technology, but then make sure that we had free speech and some good, robust debate.

And so came together and met up with some folks who were developing a platform and we got it launched in short order. We already have a million users. Fastest social media platform ever to reach a million users. And we’re including [former Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo, [former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben] Carson, Peter Navarro, Dinesh D’Souza, … a lot of good conservatives.

Allen: And the name … Gettr, where does that come from?

Miller: Initially we’re thinking of, how do we build community? How do we get together? And so we’re kicking around, coming up with all these different names. “Get Together” became Gettr, just ended up being truncated. It’s kind of catchy.

And everybody asks the question. So I’m like, “Hey, if they’re asking the question, it must be catchy. They want to know a little bit more about it. It gets folks inquiring.” So I was like, “This is genius. It’s going to be Gettr.” And so I love it when we get asked that question because it means folks are interested.

Allen: Yeah, no, I do love that. Very creative. Now, as far as functionality, does Gettr operate very much so like Twitter?

Miller: So, certain functions—I mean, you think about the typical social media platforms, let’s say most folks probably describe it as being more of a head-to-head competitor with Twitter.

… So Gettr, G-E-T-T-R, it’s on the App Store. It’s on the Google Play Store. Actually it was No. 1, even ahead of TikTok, on the Google Play Store day before yesterday. I think it’s No. 2 behind TikTok right now, which, I had to show my 12-year-old, by the way, say, “See, Gettr’s even a bigger deal than TikTok.” And she was like, “Get lost, boomer. I’m literally shaking.”

So we have longer posts, 777 characters. You don’t have to worry about getting that 280. Longer videos, we’re at three minutes. And for some content creators, so I’m thinking of like The Daily Signal, we can give up to 10-minute videos so then that way you don’t have to go and splice everything up into such short blocks.

You can also import all of your tweets in together so your timeline is there. That’s key for a couple reasons. One, that’s your creativity, that’s your hard work and intellectual property. So we can move that so it stays with you. But also think, if you were to be deplatformed or canceled from, say, Twitter in the future, you wouldn’t have a backup of any sort of all of that. So that also does that.

But we have some really cool things in development, not only a bunch of additional languages that are coming on. We’ll soon have direct messages, we’ll have notifications that will be coming very shortly. We’re also going to have a thing called online appreciation and online tipping.

So what that means, this is so big for content creators—I usually don’t go quite as granular on this, but because this is a pretty smart audience and you got a lot of content creators who listen to [The Heritage Foundation] and Daily Signal, so that means people who, whether they create videos or they create memes or they write articles, think of the way that things have become decentralized with the Substacks of the world or the Patreons or things like that.

So this means, let’s say that Daily Signal has a super exclusive video that you guys put up there online. It’s 10 minutes and someone sees it, like, “You know what? This is really cool stuff. I’m glad to see the work these guys are doing,” they can go and hit a coin or a dollar sign—we’re figuring out the exact icon—in the corner and you can even preset it to where, say, I want to give them $1 or $5 or $10. They can go and contribute toward that.

It might seem small, but as you see the move, the more people are going to Rumble and things like that to find ways to monetize their online content. We think this is a way that we can draw content creators in.

Also, and just go a step further because I know that there are a number of elected officials who follow you guys as well, I’m making it super easy so you can do the same type thing for a candidate and give right to them because there’s nothing more a politician hates more than the go beg for money or, “Please support me. Here’s a link to some WinRed thing.” And then people are like, “Wait, what is this?”

But same thing, some kind of dollar sign or something in the corner to where people can click on it and give money to their favorite politician. So that way, if someone has really insightful posts, I’m thinking of the Ted Cruz’s of the world who have good social media platforms and a lot of hot takes and things that always make me, like, “Yeah, Ted, go get them,” then you could just click on that button and go and contribute to his campaign without them having to go and constantly send out some link.

Allen: And you all are really branding yourself, of course, as a free speech platform. So what are those guarantees that you’re making to your users that their free speech will be protected and not censored if they use Gettr?

Miller: Yeah. Great question. And I will tell you that content moderation and platform moderation is not something that traditionally in my life I’ve spent a lot of time on other than being upset when a lot of my friends have gotten booted off, but something I’ve rapidly become an expert in over the past few months. So I spent a lot of time on this and we do have a robust moderation policy, and I’ll tell you why.

Free speech goes right up to the point when you start to infringe on somebody else’s rights. And so, for example, the same way that if you walked into a convenience store, for example, and you threatened somebody with physical harm, there would be consequences to that.

So, the same thing, you can’t go and do that online. You can’t threaten people physically. You can’t use racial epithets and slurs. You can’t go and post graphic pictures of pornography. These are some basic things that we don’t want people doing.

Our commitment to the users of Gettr is you will never be censored or deplatformed for your political speech. And I think that’s very important.

When we think about why people are getting kicked off of Facebook or Twitter or other things, it’s simply because their political opinion isn’t agreed to by the overlords in Silicon Valley.

So people who maybe raise issues with election integrity or people who say, here’s a shocker, “Hydroxychloroquine works,” then they find themselves kicked off. Or, “Fire Fauci,” next thing you know, they’ve been—Lord, probably not that one because I say “Fire Fauci” almost every day and no one’s ever tried to kick me off on that. But you know what I’m saying, just maybe questioning some of the, say, mask protocols. So, those are political opinions.

Again, our guarantee, you’re never going to be censored or deplatformed or cancel-cultured because of your political beliefs. But yes, we do have both an [artificial intelligence] system that works with a human monitoring system. Certain things then get elevated to an executive team and then some posts even get raised to my attention, which has already happened a number of times.

So we do have some policies in place. And we have to because we want this to be an inviting platform and we want people to, obviously, download an account and create one. We want people to come back. We want them to have fun. I’ll give you one super quick example.

Dinesh D’Souza, who we’ve all known for years, I followed him on Twitter. I would never see his posts. Now he’s on Gettr. And I see everything. It populates my timeline.

This guy is pretty prolific on the social media front. Clearly, he was shadow banned. I would never see his content or anything he did on Twitter. Now I see him all the time on Gettr and I like what he has to say. So he’s someone I want to follow. When I open up Gettr, I’m like, “I wonder if Dinesh said anything cool.”

There’s some other people like that that I look forward to. So if we can make Gettr fun, we get people coming back. That’s the whole goal.

Allen: Great. Well, of course, this has been a major issue and on the minds of many, many Americans for a long time, but obviously, increased after Jan. 6.

I recently spoke on this show with Mark Meckler, the former CEO of Parler. And we talked about the details of what happened to Parler. And he specifically raised that so much of the core of the challenges that they face came when Amazon Web Services stopped hosting them.

So for Gettr, how are you all ensuring that something like what happened to Parler won’t happen to you and what are the web services that you all are using to host your platform in order to prevent the whole platform being brought down by Amazon?

Miller: Yeah. Great question, actually. I’m a little bit less concerned on the Amazon front. We are starting with AWS, but we have redundancies in place on that. So I’m not as concerned on that one.

One thing a lot of folks might not understand is, say, the difference between Google Play and the Android open system, open environment applications, or operating system versus iOS with Apple.

So if you have an Android phone, you can literally go to a website and download the app. You don’t have to go to a Google store. … And again, like I said, with Google Play, we’ve either been No. 1 or No. 2 for this entire week, which is super exciting. But with Apple, it’s a closed system. So they can decide what apps are on or off their entire system. And then … if they were going to remove an app, then it’s not going to work with your phone.

So take a look at what happened with Fortnite, for example. And Fortnite and Apple are in a pretty heated battle as we speak. And so I’m not sure the exact status on that, but I know, again, my 12-year-old plays Fortnite. And so I kind of learn through her on this stuff.

So on the web hosting services, again, we think that our proactive, robust moderation strategy will make sure that we’re OK. But look, someone at Apple could wake up on any day and say, “We don’t want to have you,” and that would be an issue. And there’s really no workaround other than [telling] folks to get the Samsung Galaxy or the Google Android or something like that.

One interesting note on this, so while Apple is the big, massive market-mover, obviously, as far as iPhones, we just got a whole bunch of market research back. And for Trump voters—and again, that’s where a lot of this initial free speech passion is, is on the right of center; we want everybody, but a lot of the passion’s right of center—57% of Trump voters are Android users. And so think about the disparity on that.

So Democrats go much more heavier to Apple. Trump voters go much more heavier to the Samsung Galaxy. I mean, I think of both of my parents have Galaxies. My mother-in-law has a Galaxy. Father-in-law has the Apple iPhone. But you think about that. And so right now we’re at a third are web downloads, a third are from the Google Play Store, and a third are from the Apple store. And so Apple’s more of an issue than AWS.

Allen: Jason, I want to ask you, Politico recently wrote a story about Gettr’s connection to a Chinese billionaire. Would you like to set the record straight for our listeners about Gettr’s reported connection to individuals in China?

Miller: Yeah, absolutely. So Miles Guo is a gentleman who is in the U.S. on asylum. He’s someone who’s been persecuted and prosecuted by the [Chinese Communist Party]. There’s probably no bigger anti-CCP person that I’ve ever met in my entire life than Miles Guo, but he is not a financial investor in the operation and he does not have any direct day-to-day role with it. Obviously, he’s a friend of it.

Now, his family’s foundation that is U.K.-based is one of the initial investors. We have kind of a consortium of international investors who contributed. But again, to the point that there’s literally nobody who wants to go and make sure that we’re sharing democratic thought, that we’re finding ways to reach people in China to allow them to talk about democratic messages.

And I think in particular, I’ve had hours and hours of conversations with Mr. Guo about this, but how do we go and continue to reach out and talk with the freedom-loving people of Hong Kong, for example? And that’s something that, only the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to go to Hong Kong. I think I’ve been three times in the last three years, one of my favorite cities on the planet.

And some of the young people that I met at the company I used to work for were some of these leaders in this movement, this freedom fighting movement. And these, I say kids only because I’m old now, but they’re young, mid-20s, and they’re the ones who are trying to figure out ways to go and organize protests and stand up for their rights.

That really struck me because these are quietest church mice that would be in the office and here they are, these freedom fighters undercover.

I want to make sure that there are avenues for these folks to stay engaged in it. And so this is very much anti-CCP, pro-democracy, pro-freedom. And you look right in our description for the app, our goal, we want to share democracy and freedom around the world.

And there’s nothing more powerful than an idea. You get an idea in someone’s head that they should have an independent voice, that they should have freedom of thought and expression, it’s more powerful than any weapon.

Allen: Yeah. That’s certainly so much so on the hearts and minds of so many Americans right now, that value for free speech and promoting that. You had mentioned earlier in our conversation about Wednesday’s press conference. Former President Trump announced Wednesday a class-action lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter, Google, and their CEOs over censorship. Your thoughts on this lawsuit?

Miller: I’m not a constitutional lawyer, I just play one on TV. So as far as the prospects of it, I can’t speak to that. But here’s what I can say on the political front, is that, again, President Trump wasn’t kicked off of these platforms or wasn’t banned because he was repeatedly putting up illegal content or something of that nature.

He was kicked off because his political viewpoint was not something that was found acceptable by the social media oligarchs, the social media titans in Silicon Valley. And out of this desire to deplatform and cancel him, try and make sure he’s not a viable political figure in the future, these actions were taken.

I think President Trump is exactly right to go and stand up and fight here. I do hope that there’s some aspect of change. Again, I don’t know what the courts are going to do. I know that the courts have been pushing back more and more on the media and on Big Tech.

I will raise one caution flag with regard to, say, Congress, for example, keeping in mind that the current governing rules, the DMCA, for example, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and some of the different rules that are overseeing all these platforms were created back in the ’90s. And this was before Facebook was even a twinkle in [Mark] Zuckerberg or the Winklevoss twins’ eyes. So these are clearly outdated policies.

I do worry about relying on Congress to fix anything. I know that’s different than the initial question you asked. But look, most folks in Congress are old white guys for the most part and I don’t think they know the difference between a tweet and a truck. I do worry that if we’re relying on Congress, that they could go and screw it up even worse.

I’ll tell you, just Congress, if you’re looking at Congress for a solution—oh, boy, sometimes that can be a slippery slope. I think the free market is probably going to be a big chunk of that. It’s part of reason why we started Gettr. People want an alternative.

Allen: Is Trump on Gettr? Do you know?

Miller: Not yet. I do have @RealDonaldTrump, his handle, reserved for him. It’s in a big, beautiful, safe in the corner of my office. I spoke to him on Saturday night after his rally in Sarasota. And I was like, “Hey, Mr. President, got your handle all ready for it.”

We did sit down with him a couple of weeks ago and show him the technology. He was really blown away. It was actually pretty funny because I gave him an iPhone loaded up with Gettr and he kind of held in his hand, he’s like, “Oh, I haven’t done this in a while.” He was like, “Can I go and post right now?” So it was a pretty fun conversation.

But look, President Trump has offers from several different social media companies as far as what he might do. So the one thing I know from working for him is that don’t push him. Let him do it on his timing. So right now my best strategy is show that it’s really cool technology and get all of his friends and allies signed up so he’s like, “You know what? I want to get out there. This is some cool technology.” So that’s what I’m hoping.

Allen: And for our listeners that are interested in joining Gettr, learning more, where do they go? How do they do that?

Miller: Absolutely. One of a couple of things. Go to either the Apple store, the Apple App Store, go to the Google Play Store. You can go to … and you can download the app. It’s super easy to sign on. In fact, if you go to the website, you can go and create your account. Literally it’ll take you about 30 seconds. You don’t even have to enter an email address. And boom, you are all signed up now.

Here’s the one thing that I will say, though, is if you want to import all of your tweets, it’s slightly [longer], when I say slightly longer, it took me two minutes as opposed to 30 seconds. You do need to pick the same screen name you use for Twitter. And they’ll do a couple of things to make sure, entering the passcode for both. And then boom, it loads up, populates your timeline with all your previous tweets.

So, It is fun. I love the commentary. And the other thing that’s kind of fun too is that just a lot of creativity, a lot of funny artwork and memes and things that people are putting up.

And I think a lot of people just kind of felt disenfranchised over Twitter. This is really kind of run by the far lefties.

Now, we do want people from all over the spectrum. Here’s what I say. If you believe in free speech, we want you on our platform. If you disagree with cancel culture, we want you on our platform, because certainly, not everyone in the country wakes up and says, “This is my ideology.”

When you think about this being a global platform, [Brazilian President Jair] Bolsonaro is on our platform. Brazil was our No. 2 country as far as activity in this first week. Folks in Brazil don’t wake up and say, “I’m a Republican,” or, “I’m a Democrat.” But again, if you believe in free speech and you oppose cancel culture, we think you have a home at Gettr.

Allen: That’s excellent. Jason, thank you so much for your time. We really appreciate you coming on.

Miller: Thank you. You guys rock. Continued success with the podcast and everything, and look forward to downloading it and listening.

Allen: Thanks so much.

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