Trump-linked social media platform Gettr hacked on launch day

5 Jul 2021

Image: © Smolaw11/Stock.adobe.com

The site, led by former Trump spokesperson Jason Miller, was breached as it launched during 4 July celebrations.

A new social media site linked to staffers of former US president Donald Trump was hacked on its official launch day.

On Sunday, as Americans were celebrating 4 July, a hacker managed to gain access to Gettr, a social media site that was launched by former Trump spokesperson Jason Miller.

The culprit was able to deface the accounts of some high-profile members.

“The problem was detected and sealed in a matter of minutes, and all the intruder was able to accomplish was to change a few usernames,” Miller told Reuters.

It’s a bumpy start for the new app but it has already signed up 500,000 people. The app, which borrows heavily from Twitter in its design and layout, promises to be a safe haven for Republican, conservative and pro-Trump voices that feel unwelcome on major social networks.

Prior to the news of the hack on Sunday, Miller, who is chief executive of the company, said that Gettr was a “direct challenge to the social media oligarchs from Silicon Valley” and their “woke tyranny”.

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“Gettr is the marketplace of ideas. We will not cancel people for their political opinions, and Gettr offers far more features and better technology than anything else out there.”

Steve Bannon and a number of other conservative and pro-Trump faces have surfaced on Gettr.

Just how involved, if at all, Trump is remains to be seen. Politico reported that the company has reserved an account for the former US president.

Trump has been without his social media blow horn after he was kicked off Twitter and Facebook following the attempted US Capitol insurrection on 6 January.

He launched an ill-fated blog earlier this year as a platform to continue posting and reach his audience, but this was abandoned after only a few weeks.

There has been a glut of newcomer social media sites in recent years attempting to woo users away from Twitter and Facebook. Many claim to offer a free-for-all platform for ideas, most notably Parler, but none have been able to sign up the former tweeter-in-chief.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin

editorial@siliconrepublic.com