At some point, imitation is no longer a form of flattery.
GETTR, the Twitter clone helmed by Donald Trump’s former spokesperson Jason Miller, ran into additional trouble Saturday when it lost the ability to automatically import tweets directly from Twitter. So claimed Miller, who announced the latest setback for his fledgling social media platform via (where else) Twitter.
“Twitter has blocked users from importing their existing tweets to GETTR, the new free speech platform challenging the social media oligarchs, preventing people from accessing their own hard work, creativity, and original content,” he wrote.
We reached out to Twitter to confirm that it had indeed restricted GETTR’s ability to pull tweets presumably directly via Twitter’s API, and, if so, why, but received no immediate response. Active Twitter users can still obviously access their own tweets, regardless of GETTR’s access to Twitter’s API.
It’s worth noting that Miller hasn’t always been the most reliable of narrators, and his latest statement veers into misinformed claims about Section 230. So it may be best to wait for Twitter to weigh in, as opposed to taking his claims at face value.
GETTR, which looks and functions much like Twitter, initially touted users’ ability to import their existing tweets over to its platform as a sort of lure. No need to start accounts from scratch, the logic went.
“Tweets are up to the point you join, it won’t continuously suck them in,” an unnamed person involved with GETTR told Politico on July 1. “The idea is we want people to move from Twitter to Gettr.”
GETTR is the latest in a line of conservative-targeted social media apps to struggle after their initial launch. Parler was briefly kicked out of Apple’s App Store, and Gab reportedly suffered a serious security breach in the spring which involved a hacker gaining access to users’ private messages.
GETTR too suffered from what might charitably be described as a privacy mishap. On July 4, numerous prominent GETTR accounts were defaced by a hacker — a hacker who, it should be noted, left a message instructing GETTR users to follow them on Twitter.
But then, of course, to do that they’d have to be on Twitter — right along with all of their old tweets.