Between promoting scientifically baseless theories that the coronavirus pandemic has triggered “mass formation psychosis” and switching to a fruit and meat diet, wildly popular podcaster Joe Rogan found the time to become active on MAGA-themed social media site Gettr. Surprise, he hates it.
On Jan. 2, Rogan posted to Gettr that “Just in case shit over at Twitter gets even dumber, I’m here now as well.” It’s apparently taken him a bit over a week for him to regret the decision. After a round of gloating from Gettr CEO and former Trump aide Jason Miller over a spike in new sign-ups—not to mention breathless praise from conservatives convinced the decision validated their fantasies of oppression by left-wing overlords at Facebook and Twitter—Rogan has already come full circle and concluded Gettr is a stupid, busted mess that sucks big time.
According to the Daily Beast, Rogan mocked the site on The Tim Dillon Show on Monday as a “fugazi” operation full of “fuckery”, going on to tell host Dillon that he wasn’t even sure if he could delete his Gettr account without running into some new kind of bullshit. Rogan took particular issue with Gettr’s practice of juicing follower counts and inflating its perception of overall influence by displaying Twitter follower counts on a user’s Gettr profile.
“I might be part of the Chinese Communist Party now, I believe,” Rogan joked on the show, referencing fugitive Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui, who runs a small empire of conspiracy-tinged media operations. Guo appears to have originally bankrolled Gettr under its previous name, Getonme, a sort of vanity project for his cult-like group of followers and claims of “virus truth” before it pivoted to the MAGA crowd.
“Well, the news story is their fucking amount of people that signed up increased by 1,150 percent or something,” Rogan added. Dillon responded, “Yeah, you have like 9 million followers on Gettr.”
“Yeah, it’s not real, though,” Rogan explained. “Gettr doesn’t even have 9 million people... This is where the fuckery is. They take all my Twitter followers... and then they port those over.”
“So Gettr is fugazi,” Dillon quipped.
“Definitely fugazi,” Rogan continued. “... I don’t know how to get off. Like if I get off of Gettr, I don’t think I can.”
“You have to sit down with Marjorie Taylor Greene, personally,” Dillon replied, to which Rogan added, “She’s gonna tell me all about what’s in the basement of Comet Pizza.”
Currently, Rogan’s Gettr profile states he has “1.2M GETTR followers” and “9M Total Followers.” Numerous screenshots on Twitter show that Gettr appears to have pushed an update in the past few days that changed the way these follower counts are displayed, as it previously stated that he had “8.9M Followers” without the additional context.
That one of their highest-profile gets is now trashing the site is probably very embarrassing for Gettr. The site already has to compete against a constellation of other niche sites for conservatives ranging from Parler to neo-Nazi hub Gab and may soon face a direct challenge from Miller’s former boss, Trump, who is launching a venture called Truth Social. Miller suggested to Gizmodo in a statement that the company has reassured Rogan they do not in fact suck, explaining the site’s practice of cloning Twitter followers was related to future functionality instead of a desperate gamble to appear relevant.
“We’ve been in contact with Joe Rogan’s team and hope that we have addressed any concerns he may have,” Miller wrote in the statement. “The follower count on GETTR includes Twitter followers because we will soon be incorporating cross-platform posting, meaning that when you post on GETTR, it will automatically post on Twitter at the same time. This number shows your true reach.”
“We are a six-month old company, and despite being the fastest-growing social media platform in history, are still working to improve every day,” Miller added. “The truth is, we already offer a far superior platform than our Silicon Valley competitors, with a commitment to protect free speech and our users’ privacy.” (Gettr is loaded with trackers for Silicon Valley competitors Facebook and Google.)
Asked if he understands what the term “fugazi” means, Miller responded “‘Fugazi’ is a term generally considered interchangeable with ‘Gizmodo.’” It’s understandable he might feel this way, as Miller lost not one but two $100 million defamation lawsuits against Gizmodo parent company G/O Media.
Since the Jan. 2 tweet, Rogan appears to have uploaded only one post to Gettr that doesn’t also appear on his Twitter profile: a 28-second video of him target shooting with the caption “Perishable skills.”