The societal scourge that is Trumpism was born on social media through thousands of posts of disinformation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
Once the former guy was banned from all of these immensely popular platforms after the January 6th insurrection, however, the search for a more MAGA-friendly alternative social media platform for Donald Trump, his associates, and his followers began in earnest.
Initially, it looked like Parler would be the new destination for all of Trump’s social media presence, with the upstart new platform reportedly offering the disgraced ex-president a 40% equity stake in the company in return for making it his new online home.
After that deal fell apart — allegedly because Trump insisted on the right to ban any user who was critical of him in any way — former Trump aide Jason Miller got to work developing his own platform hoping that it could become the new destination for all things Trump on social media.
GETTR, as Miller’s platform was unfortunately named, has been operating in beta mode for a while now and was scheduled to make its official launch today on July 4th.
The official debut was marred, however, by a startling act of internet vandalism as the GETTR accounts of Miller and several other Trump allies, including Marjorie Taylor Greene, Steve Bannon, and Mike Pompeo — as well as the platform’s official support page — were all hacked early in the morning of its launch day.
The hacks all appear to be the work of the same internet prankster who goes by the handle @JubaBaghdad and who changed the profile names of all of the targeted accounts to read:
“@JubaBaghdad was here 🙂 ^^ free palestine ^^.”
The hacks were first noticed at about 8:30 AM Eastern time and weren’t returned to their previous state until about 10 AM.
Business Insider managed to find @JubaBaghdad and communicate with him through his Twitter account.
He told the publication that he decided to hack the platform “just for fun” and described the technical aspect of the intrusion as “easy”.
“They should not publish the website before making sure everything, or at least almost everything, is secure,” he suggested to the beleagured social media platform’s technical staff, without disclosing exactly how he accomplished his takeover of the GETTR accounts.
When Business Insider contacted GETTR’s CEO Jason Miller, he downplayed the seriousness of the intrusion and defacement of his own profile and the others that were affected.
“You know you’re shaking things up when they come after you. The problem was detected and sealed in a matter of minutes, and all the intruder was able to accomplish was to change a few user names. The situation has been rectified and we’ve already had more than half a million users sign up for our exciting new platform!”, Miller spun the hack.
This morning’s hack is reportedly not the only dilemma to afflict the platform during its shakedown cruise period.
Mother Jones magazine reports that yesterday GETTR was flooded with pornographic images in response to the platform’s introductory post, including a healthy dose of hentai, as erotic anime is known, and images of Hillary Clinton’s head photoshopped onto another woman’s nude body.
It was an embarrassing start for a platform that claims to be an alternative to “cancel culture” and prides itself as being a bastion of censorship-free discourse, yet still maintains the right to “address content that comes to our attention that we believe is … pornographic,” according to its content guidelines.
Any platform that attracts Trump’s mob of deplorables and keeps them out of the mainstream social media feeds that we typically peruse each day is fine in many people’s eyes, but GETTR seems like it’s being operated with the same sort of incompetence that was the hallmark of the Trump administration.
Good luck with that, Jason Miller.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.