Pro-Trump propaganda site GETTR overwhelmed with trolls and Sonic porn

Founded by former Trump spokesman Jason Miller, GETTR becomes the latest alternative social network to attract the dregs of the internet
Screenshot of an image posted by a GETTR user featuring the video game characters Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog.

First published at Right Wing Watch

After officially launching its app on July 4 to much fanfare from conservatives, GETTR—a Twitter-style platform founded by a senior adviser to former President Donald Trump—was promptly hacked.

The alternative social media platform, which touts itself as a “a non-bias social network for people all over the world,” was compromised after several of its most popular verified users, many of whom were former Trump aides, were targeted and had their pages taken over. The accounts include those of Steve Bannon, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Mike Pompeo, and far-right outlet Newsmax, all of whom had their account profiles changed to show the message “@JubaBaghdad was here J free Palestine.”

The hacker later told Insider that he targeted the site “just for fun” and that it was “easy” to hack.

GETTR was eventually able to regain control of the hacked accounts, though its troubles were far from over. Two days later, Vice reported that the hacker was able to extract the email addresses and data of more than 90,000 GETTR users by taking advantage of the app’s badly designed Application Programming Interface. GETTR denied the report, insisting that it had already rectified its privacy issues. “While the problem has already been addressed, GETTR takes cybersecurity seriously and has undertaken another round of security testing by a ‘white hat’ security firm to ensure safety,” it said in a statement.

While GETTR continues to endure a slew of negative publicity following its chaotic launch earlier this month, the app is the latest in a growing collection of conservative social media platforms that serve as a haven for users who fled mainstream social media spaces that took steps to regulate hate speech or extremist content. And much like Gab, Parler, and other alternatives, GETTR is on a quest to achieve “censorship-resistant” social media.


Upon opening the GETTR website, users are greeted with a slew of suggested follows, including far-right figures such as Dinesh D’Souza, Steve Bannon, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, as well as the following introductory message: “Thank you for joining the GETTR community! Currently, our system is experiencing a delay due to an unusual amount of online users’ registration activity.”

The statement captures GETTR’s turbulent start as a right-wing leaning alternative to Twitter and Facebook.

Founded by Jason Miller, a former senior adviser to Trump, GETTR launched in beta form in mid-June before marking its official release on July 4. The platform’s name is an amalgamation of the words “Getting Together,” and features a user interface that closely resembles that of Twitter with its inclusion of hashtags, trending topics, and the ability to import followers from Twitter.

Apart from Miller, former Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh is also involved as a consultant. However, despite the platform being led by former Trump staffers, Trump’s potential involvement with the project remains unclear. According to Politico, a source involved with the app, there is an account reserved for Trump should he be interested in joining GETTR but added that “the former president is going to make his own decision.”

Trump, who recently filed suit against Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter claiming that the aforementioned platforms wrongfully censored him and other conservatives, hinted that he plans to start or invest in his own social media platform to better engage with his base.

“There’s a lot of platforms out there, that’s what we’re looking at, getting the right platform, a perfect platform, and I think you’ll see something fairly soon,” Trump said on Dave Rubin’s “Rubin Report” podcast last month. Trump did not specifically mention GETTR or any other alternative social media platform as his go-to choice.

GETTR claims its purpose is “fighting cancel culture” while “creating a true marketplace of ideas.” There appears to be limited moderation on the site so far, and the platform has already welcomed scores of QAnon adherents, including influencers such as Joe M and QAnon John. Ali Alexander, the leader of the so-called “Stop the Steal” movement that helped propagate false election fraud narratives in the lead-up to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, as well as Proud Boys leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio also joined GETTR.

While GETTR has managed to entice conservatives and far right activists to join its platform, a portion of that newfound user base questioned their decision after The Daily Beast revealed that the platform received funding from Guo Wengui, an exiled Chinese billionaire who runs a Chinese-language media network with Steve Bannon. This led to an exodus of QAnon adherents, many of whom viewed the app as either a “deep state” ploy or Chinese propaganda.

“GETTR is a hot mess,” GhostEzra, a QAnon influencer with more than 338,000 subscribers, wrote on Telegram.

Guo Wengui (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Lin Wood, the pro-Trump lawyer and conspiracy theorist who is also one of the influential QAnon figures online, stated that he had created a GETTR account but still had no intention of posting on the platform. “Telegram remains the battlefield for the present time,” Wood told his followers on Telegram.

Controversy is par for the course when it comes to GETTR. Following its official launch on July 4, 2021, the site was quickly inundated with a variety of niche pornography, including anime porn, furry porn, as well as pictures of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s head photoshopped onto nude women’s bodies. Others flooded the #Trumpworld and #QAnon hashtags with images of old men in diapers and leftist memes of Sonic the Hedgehog in an attempt to anger the conservatives and conspiracy theorists flocking to GETTR. QAnon influencer Jordan Sather claimed that “shills” are attacking GETTR with “titties and bad words and stuff.”

Though GETTR is unlikely to be the online sanctuary that some conservatives hoped it would be, it is the product of an ongoing trend to secure an alternative social media space that would both provide them with the large-scale platform available on Twitter or Facebook while also avoiding the accountability demanded of users on mainstream platforms.


On Jan. 6, 2021, Trump supporters took part in a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. During the infamous incident, many of those involved posted videos of themselves attempting to overthrow the government on Parler, the social media service touting “free expression without violence and no censorship.”

Founded in August 2018, Parler emerged as alternative to mainstream social media networks. In the two weeks following the 2020 presidential election, Parler doubled its user base to more than 10 million registered users, topping other alternative social media platforms like BitChute, MeWe, and Gab. Parler also became home to a range of far-right extremists, including members of the Proud Boys, QAnon adherents, militia members and anti-government extremists from the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters organizations, and dangerous conspiracy-mongers such as Alex Jones. The social app became a cesspool for election fraud misinformation, QAnon conspiracy theories, hate speech, and instances of incitement, especially in the lead-up to the insurrection.

In the days following the Capitol breach, Google pulled Parler from its Play Store. Apple followed suit, removing the social app from its App Store for not taking “adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety.” Amazon later removed Parler from its cloud hosting service, rendering the site inoperable for a period of time. Parler has struggled to regain its footing, suffering several multiday outages that frustrated users across conservative circles, many of whom proceeded to turn to other alternative social apps.

Telegram, a cloud-based instant messaging application that also provides end-to-end encryption, emerged as a frontrunner for conservatives and far-right extremists over the past few months. Founded in 2013, Telegram grew in popularity due to its stability as well as its ability to host public channels with unlimited subscribers, making it an ideal tool for broadcasting information with minimal regulation. It is also characterized by its sparse content moderation, end-to-end encryption, secret chats, and stable tools for mass communication.

Among those who joined Telegram in 2021 include popular conservative voices like Ben Shapiro, Dan Bongino, and Candace Owens, as well as politicians with ties to the QAnon conspiracy movement such as Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and Madison Cawthorn. Conservative media sources such as The Epoch Times, Breitbart, PragerU, The Daily Wire, Right Side Broadcasting Network, and The Blaze also have accounts on Telegram. The app is home to countless far-right extremists, many of whom have used their publicly accessible channels to incite violence and spread propaganda and disinformation with the intention of heightening political tension. (Author’s Note: Read Right Wing Watch’s reporting on Telegram here.) 

Another popular alternative to Twitter for far-right activists is Gab, a far-right social media space that first gained a foothold among extremists in 2016. Following the Jan. 6 insurrection, the Anti-Defamation League called for a U.S. Justice Department investigation into Gab and its CEO, Andrew Torba, for possible criminal liability in the Capitol breach. The ADL’s call is based on the fact that Gab users openly called for violence in the lead-up to the insurrection, while Torba encouraged users to post footage on Gab.

“Document as much as you can and please know that your content is safe on Gab and Gab TV,” Torba posted on Gab the day before the insurrection.

Beyond Gab and Telegram, there is currently a growing demand for decentralized social media platforms that would operate as censorship-resistant spaces. These include Mastodon, LBRY, Aether, and BitClout, a decentralized social media platform developed on blockchain technology that allows users to buy and sell tokens based on people’s reputations or “clout.” BitClout allows users to monetize their social media presence in a way that is not possible on mainstream social media platforms such as Twitter. The app was popularized by Ali Alexander, the far-right leader of the so-called Stop the Steal movement. (Author’s Note: Read Right Wing Watch’s reporting on BitClout here.)

Given the countless alternatives that exist outside of Twitter and Facebook, it comes as no surprise that far right activists continue to find new ways to engage with their respective bases. While that is unlikely to change, the capacity to organize far-right adherents is limited on apps like GETTR; thus far, these platforms have proven to be little more than subpar Twitter clones that operate as conservative echo chambers with the added bonus of security flaws and copious amounts of hentai porn.