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Two days later, Donald Trump’s former advisor Jason Miller announced that GETTR – a Chinese-language website for dissidents who oppose the Chinese Communist Party – would soon launch as a pro-MAGA social media platform for free expression.
GETTR was announced as a brand new social media platform for Trump’s fans, a social media outpost where MAGA types can post freely and stay with Big Tech by just signing up. It has been billed as a logical continuation of the former president’s month-long struggle with the major social media companies, two of which sacked him after the January 6 riots in the Capitol. And while Trump himself hadn’t made a commitment to be there, it seemed like the kind of place he would inevitably end up after starting his own failed professional blog.
There was a big question: where does GETTR come from?
A POLITICO review shows that GETTR existed for almost a year as a Chinese-language social media network, affiliated with Guo and G-TV Media, and regularly advertised anti-CCP content for almost a year prior to its release on Thursday.
Miller told The Daily Beast, which first reported on the link, that Guo’s “family foundation” funded GETTR early on. In a separate interview with POLITICO, Miller said Guo had “no formal role”, “contributed no money” and was “not part of everyday business life”. Miller added that “his family foundation is part of the international consortium of investors that provided seed capital”.
Previous advertisements for GETTR were posted online before the news of Miller’s company became known. And it included logos for several units of G-TV Media Group, a media company owned by both Bannon and Guo. One poster features the logos of their subsidiaries G-TV and GNEWS, two websites that have been flagged as vectors of coronavirus and anti-CCP disinformation. A GETTR account on G-TV, which has the same torch logo as Miller’s GETTR, has been uploading content for more than a year, although much of it is G-TV content.
Even before it was announced, the GETTR app on Apple had more than 1,200 past reviews, mostly from users praising its anti-CCP stance. “Finally there is a platform for the free spread of the truth. Thanks to Mr. Wengui for spreading the news that the revolution has created such a free-sounding platform, ”one user wrote in a review on June 17th.
In the months leading up to GETTR’s reveal, plans for Trump’s return to social media often depended on the idea of owning a Twitter or Facebook-like platform of their own. Trump employees previously told POLITICO that the quickest way to get him back and keep him there would be to own the majority, if not all, of the company. But given the high cost of building a viable big tech competitor from the ground up – Twitter, Trump’s biggest competitor, burned hundreds of millions of dollars from startup to profitability over nine years – the people involved in Trump’s network building were the goal , a pre. to buy -existing network directly and rename for a MAGA audience.
At first glance, GETTR could have been this service. But the choice of Guo’s character posed particularly delicate problems.
G-TV Media has a rocky history and has been the subject of a federal investigation into its fundraising, with the FBI and SEC investigating the company’s $ 300 million round of funding. The connections between Guo and Bannon go back years. Bannon was arrested aboard Guo’s yacht in 2020 on charges of fraud related to a separate crowdfunding project to help build a wall on the US-Mexico border. In 2019, it was reported that Guo was a member of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club.
Guo himself was an active promoter of GETTR and has regularly posted video blogs on the website entitled “Miles Guo’s Getter” for the past two months to share his views on China, the coronavirus pandemic and the Biden government. These GETTR videos were then posted to GNews and, according to the website, translated into both English and French.
In the days before Miller announced the launch of a MAGA version of GETTR, several videos appeared on GNEWS and G-TV showing GETTR users how to save their data and ultimately upload it to the new platform.
A Twitter user named Dicky Zhang, whose account identifies him as linked to G-TV and GNEWS, also reminded his followers to back up their GETTR accounts.
“Gettr will be officially released on July 4th.” he tweeted in English on June 29th. “In order to make this a multilingual and international platform, we will delete all data on the platform on June 29th, Eastern US Time, including posts, photos and accounts. Sorry for the inconveniences. Please save important information. “
Meridith McGraw contributed to this report.