The Great Disruption on Social Media Platforms | Opinion

Between the last presidential election and the continuing pandemic, the last two years were a turning point for social media giants—and not a good one.

Big Tech companies that once prided themselves on facilitating the free flow of information and their commitment to liberal democracy are now routinely censoring users and content. Platforms that once had great potential to hold governments accountable have allowed themselves to become the government's speech enforcement arm. An industry that once promised to upend the media landscape has become entrenched in it.

It turns out this kind of censorship and discrimination from Big Tech isn't just bad for democracy—it's a bad business model as well.

A perfect example occurred at the end of 2021 and in the early days of the new year.

At the end of December, Twitter banned Dr. Robert Malone, who contributed to mRNA vaccine technology, for his criticisms of the coronavirus vaccines. Malone then appeared on Joe Rogan's massively popular podcast, "The Joe Rogan Experience." Platforms immediately censored clips of that interview. However, during the conversation, Dr. Malone mentioned GETTR, a new social media platform that defends free speech, as an alternative to the Silicon Valley giants.

Just after the new year, Twitter also permanently banned a sitting member of Congress, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) for her comments about COVID-19. Facebook temporarily suspended her the following day.

Following these incidents, Rogan announced on Sunday, January 2, that he had opened an account on GETTR, which saw a flood of new users. More than 171,000 people signed up on that day alone, which was more than on any single day since GETTR launched on July 4, 2021. The next day, almost twice that number—over 341,000—signed up for GETTR. Still more joined on Tuesday, and from Sunday to Wednesday morning, more than 707,000 people had followed Rogan's lead.

Rogan and GETTR are disruptors of the traditional news media and social media landscapes—a welcome development no matter who is doing the disrupting.

Some online commentators are wondering whether the social media behemoths have finally censored themselves into a downward spiral.

Social media apps
PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 06: In this photo illustration, the logos of social media applications, WeChat, Twitter, MeWe, Telegram, Signal, Instagram, Facebook, Messenger and WhatsApp is displayed on the screen of an iPhone on October 06, 2021 in Paris, France. Frances Haugen, a former employee of the Facebook social network created by Mark Zuckerberg, told the US Senate on October 05 that Facebook was prioritizing its profits at the expense of security and the impact of the social network on young users. To support her claims, Frances Haugen draws on her two-year experience as a product manager at Facebook and on the thousands of documents she took with her last spring, grouped together under the name of "Facebook Files ". Chesnot/Getty Images

We launched GETTR this summer as a direct response to what was already a radical shift in the online marketplace, betting that users would choose a platform committed to protecting their—and others'—free speech. GETTR has seen explosive growth in just a few short months—it is now approaching 4 million users, a testament to its appeal in a rapidly changing social media marketplace.

The thirst for a social media forum that doesn't censor and discriminate is not unique to the United States, either. GETTR is becoming a truly international platform, and it shows in our data.

More than half a million users have signed up in Brazil. On one day in December, Germany became the leading country for new signups. France recently saw a 1,360 percent increase in new users in just one day. People in these vastly different countries have one thing in common: a shared belief that the free and uncensored exchange of information online is critical for healthy democracies.

GETTR is built to allow for a wider range of expression than other social media platforms are. Instead of being forced to condense conversations into 280 characters, users on GETTR can post messages using up to 777 characters. Users can post longer videos, with GETTR allowing three minutes at a time, while Twitter limits to two minutes and 20 seconds, and edit those videos within the platform itself (a feature Twitter does not offer). Our livestream capabilities are receiving rave reviews in the beta phase, and users can broadcast live from within GETTR itself, instead of relying on another app.

And those features are just the beginning. Later this year, we'll be rolling out even more exciting and innovative features that make GETTR truly unique.

Just as we believe in the healthy exchange of ideas, we also believe in the healthy marketplace of competition. Users are learning that there are other options out there for them to hear and be heard, and the results are speaking for themselves. Every time a new social media platform enters the arena, signups on GETTR increase markedly. Our consistent growth is an indicator that our product is the best.

With that said, however, we don't view GETTR as just another competitor in the industry.

GETTR is a direct challenge to the monopoly on online political thought that Big Tech titans at Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have created and believe they own. GETTR is a disruptor, if you will.

These companies consistently censor, flag, demonetize or outright ban conservative opinions—and sometimes even facts that run against the pre-approved beliefs of the left-leaning establishment.

Millions of social media users on both sides of the aisle want more freedom online, yet it's becoming clear that Big Tech isn't listening. We are, which is why social media disruptors ended 2021 in an incredibly strong position and are beginning 2022 even stronger.

Jason Miller was a Senior Advisor to President Donald J. Trump during both the 2016 and 2020 campaigns and is the Chief Executive Officer of the social media platform GETTR.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.