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Pro-Trump social network inundated with alleged Islamic State propaganda

Gettr, which launched early last month, has been flooded with graphic videos, including beheadings, according to Politico
GETTR was launchd in early July as a haven for free speech.
Gettr was launchd in early July as a haven for free speech (MEE/Umar Farooq)
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Washington

Hundreds of alleged supporters of the Islamic State (IS) group are reported to have posted propaganda, including beheadings, on Gettr, a pro-Donald Trump social media platform that launched early last month.

An analysis of the platform's activity by Politico found that alleged IS supporters were using the social media network to share graphic videos, viral memes promoting violence, and memes of a militant executing Trump in an orange jumpsuit similar to those used in the Guantanamo Bay prison.

The platform was launched in early July by Jason Miller, a former Trump campaign aide, as an alternative to larger social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter after Trump was de-platformed following the 6 January Capitol riots.

Experts told Politico that individuals expressing support for IS and other groups had taken advantage of Gettr's permissive policies and relatively lax content moderation to spread their propaganda.

The IS group "has been very quick to exploit Gettr", said Moustafa Ayad, the executive director for Africa, the Middle East and Asia at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a think tank that tracks online extremism.

"On Facebook, there was one of these accounts that I follow that is known to be Islamic State, which said: 'Oh, Trump announced his new platform. Inshallah, all the mujahideen will exploit that platform,'" he said. "The next day, there were at least 15 accounts on Gettr that were Islamic State," Ayad added.

Miller, the founder of Gettr, dismissed the spike in alleged IS sympathisers as '"keyboard warriors hiding in caves and eating dirt cookies".

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"ISIS is trying to attack the MAGA movement because President Trump wiped them off the face of the earth, destroying the Caliphate in less than 18 months, and the only ISIS members still alive are keyboard warriors hiding in caves and eating dirt cookies," he said in a post on Gettr, using another name for the group.

"Buried beneath a misleading and inflammatory headline, however, even Politico acknowledges Gettr has a robust and proactive moderation system that removes prohibited content, maximizing both cutting-edge AI technology and human moderation," he added.

Middle East Eye reached out to Miller on Twitter for comment but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

Numerous other social media platforms, including Twitter, have also struggled to clamp down on the proliferation of pro-IS accounts. 

While IS no longer controls territory in either Syria or Iraq, it still maintains a strong physical presence in both countries.

Iraq's Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last month that the war against the group was not over and Baghdad still needed Washington's help.

"ISIS operations are still ongoing in Iraq," Hussein said, using another acronym for IS. "ISIS's activity is a threat to the Iraqi community, the regional community and the international community."

He cited, in particular, the recent suicide bombing in Baghdad's Sadr City, which killed dozens of Iraqis. The Iraqi foreign minister added, that because IS espouses a transnational ideology, global work is required to counter it.

"We need to work with the International Coalition, led by the United States, against the terrorists of ISIS," Hussein added.