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Right wing social media battles for dominance after high profile bans

The famous suspension of Twitter and Facebook leaves right-wing platforms competing to be alternatives. The competition is getting fierce and controversial.

Over the weekend, Twitter permanently suspended Personal account of Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) For spreading disinformation about COVID-19. (Her congressional account was not banned.) Greene’s suspension followed closely Dr. Robert Malone, a virologist who has gained notoriety in right-wing circles by sowing suspicion and spreading misinformation about the COVID vaccine.

These and other suspensions, such as those of former President Donald Trump, have led to something of a frenzy as right-wing social media companies scramble to fill the void. The main contenders are Gab, Gettr, Parler, and Telegram. Social Truth, the platform Trump has been teasing for months, could bring them some competition if and when it launches.

On Sunday, Gettr scored a big win as favorite Joe Rogan was far right tweeted that he has joined the platform and urge others to join him. Gettr was founded by former Trump aide Jason Miller last summer. It’s been something of a bit player ever since. As of November, the site has only 3 million users. In a word, Twitter has more than 200 million; Telegram half a billion.

Greene also turned to Gettr at a time when she needed a social media platform. In the past, Greene used Twitter to compare COVID restrictions for the Holocaust and feud with fellow Republicans. Similar Malone adopted child Gettr after his Twitter ban. Both have active Telegram channels, although only Greene’s is verified. Telegram has problems with impersonation account, so it’s possible that Malone’s channels are not authentic.

Others followed them to Gettr.

Although both have outlived Gettr, Rogan’s endorsement gives the impression that Parler and Gab could lose.

Andrew Torba, the founder of Gab, responded by declaring war on his rival.

“The reality is that Gab is absolutely exploding in influence and growth right now. The mode is in panic mode. So Grifter appeared to distract the masses, “Torba posted on Sunday. (“Grifter” appears to be a reference to Gettr.)

“This is the second time they have tried to sabotage our movement and they will absolutely fail again.”

Others have taken sides in the battle to become the far-right’s platform of choice.

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One issue that is dividing internet conservatives into different groups is the types of content allowed on these platforms, including offensive and/or abusive content. Gab and Telegram have the closest policies on “everything” regarding content. As a result, people can say whatever racist or offensive things they want, but on the contrary, they are often abused or spammed on these platforms.

For example, far-right Laura Loomer’s comments about Gab are rife with anti-Semitism. The customer is Jewish. Many Telegram channels have complain about the proliferation of spam, such as pornography and offers to buy cryptocurrency.

Gettr seems to be trying to strike a balance between allowing people to selectively control the worst content. It is arguably more permissive than Twitter, but has been shown to be willing to suspend accounts for being too offensive or obstinate. Last month, the platform banned white nationalist Nick Fuentes and blocked the term “peddler”, which refers to his followers. Newsweek reported that a Gettr spokesperson said that Fuentes “violated GETTR’s well-defined terms of use.”

Gab fans have cited this and Gettr’s policies to portray it as no different from mainstream platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

“This is Steve Bannon calling the language of the left asking what Jason Miller Gettr would do about ‘hate speech’,” a right-wing channel Written on Telegram Monday morning. “Jason said they would ban it from using AI and human mods…… .. just like Big Tech did.”

In the attached clip, Miller is talking to Bannon about how they plan to moderate hate speech and white supremacist content.

Over the next year, it will be interesting to see which of the four – Gab, Parler, Telegram or Gettr – wins the battle to become the dominant platform of the far right. Though they can all be usurped by Truth Social, as long as it’s ever out.


Read more on the right

*First published: January 3, 2022, 12:15 p.m. CST

Claire Goforth

Claire Goforth is a member of the Daily Dot covering all things politics and technology, with a focus on the far right and conspiracy theories.

https://www.dailydot.com/debug/right-wing-platforms-battle-dominance-greene-ban/ Right wing social media battles for dominance after high profile bans

Mike Sullivan

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