Amazon has accused Parler, the right-wing social media platform formerly hosted on Amazon’s servers, of attempting to conceal the company’s ownership amid continued legal battles between the two companies. “This is a ginned-up effort to try to throw mud at Parler, when Parler has been completely clear about its ownership,” said Angleo Calfo, an attorney representing the platform. Parler asked a Seattle judge to force Amazon to reinstate the website in February, but the judge denied Parler’s request. Parler then issued a new complaint in King County Superior Court, which Amazon then asked to be...
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Just weeks after former President Trump's team quietly launched the alternative to "social media monopolies," GETTR is being used to promote terrorist propaganda from supporters of the Islamic State, a Politico analysis found.
The publication reports that the jihadi-related material circulating on the social platform includes "graphic videos of beheadings, viral memes that promote violence against the West and even memes of a militant executing Trump in an orange jumpsuit similar to those used in Guantanamo Bay."
Politico found at least 250 such regular users since early July, most of which follow each other and use hashtags to promote the jihadi material.
The Islamic State "has been very quick to exploit GETTR," Moustafa Ayad, executive director at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, told Politico, adding, "On Facebook, there was on 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.'"
Politico describes the accumulation of terrorist propaganda as "rapid" and called GETTR a "safe haven" for jihadi extremists online, putting the new MAGA alternative to prominent social media apps, like Twitter and Facebook, in an "awkward" position.
Jason Miller, former Trump spokesperson and the CEO of GETTR, dismissed the spike in extremist content, saying, "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."
Miller also flooded his Twitter feed with links to stories that investigate Twitter's problems with ISIS:
How ISIS Uses Twitter. Understanding the Islamic State’s… | by Mitchell Telatnik | Towards Data Science https://t.co/8r3mEdzN6Y— Jason Miller (@Jason Miller)1627911937.0
According to Politico, however, Twitter works with the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, so that the extremist-related material can be taken down as quickly as possible. GETTR has not yet signed up -- but Politico does note that some jihadi posts were eventually taken down on.
"Buried beneath a misleading and inflammatory headline…even Politico acknowledges GETTR has a robust & proactive moderation system that removes prohibited content, maximizing…A.I. technology and human moderation," said Miller.
Since being kicked off of Twitter and Facebook for inciting a deadly insurrection, Trump has been trying to find new ways to interact with his supporters-- none of which have been particularly successful.
Back in May, he launched a blog called "From the Desk of Donald J. Trump" that he tried to pass off as a social "platform." The site ultimately failed weeks later due to ridicule and poor readership.
Trump's involvement in GETTR is unknown and he has yet to officially sign up for the platform, but the "true marketplace of ideas" has many links to the former president. In addition to Miller's involvement, Miles Guo, the business partner of former Trump advisor Steve Bannon, is also partially funding GETTR.
Politico's findings further outline the grave dangers that social sites with little to no regulation pose.
"We will come at you with slaying and explosions you worshippers of the cross," wrote an account whose name referenced ISIS. "How great is freedom of expression."
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Reprinted with permission from Alternet
Although QAnon isn't a religious movement per se, the far-right conspiracy theorists have enjoyed some of their strongest support from white evangelicals — who share their adoration of former President Donald Trump. And polling research from The Economist and YouGov shows that among those who are religious, White evangelicals are the most QAnon-friendly.
The Economist explains, "One prominent theory is that Americans who have no religious affiliation find themselves attracted to other causes, such as the Q craze. Another, posited by Ben Sasse, a Republican senator from Nebraska, is that modern strains of Christian evangelicalism which 'run on dopey apocalypse-mongering' do not entirely satisfy all worshippers — and so, they go on to find community and salvation in other groups, such as QAnon. Using The Economist's polling with YouGov, an online pollster, we can test both of these theories."
Sasse's willingness to call out "dopey apocalypse-mongering" among some white evangelicals shouldn't be taken as a criticism of religion in general. The conservative Nebraska Republican draws a distinction between extremists and non-extremists within Christianity. And the Economist/YouGov poll underscores the fact that among Christians, one finds a variety of opinions where QAnon is concerned.
"From July 10 to July 13, 2021, YouGov asked Americans their racial and religious affiliations, whether they thought of QAnon favorably or unfavorably and whether they believed in a variety of popular conspiracy theories," The Economist notes. "Those theories included old stand-bys, such as whether the moon landing in 1969 was faked."
The Economist continues: "According to YouGov's recent polling, which we combined with an earlier survey from March to obtain a larger sample size, Americans who attend church the least are also the least likely to have a favorable view of QAnon. Among those who say they 'never' go to church, just nine percent who have heard of the QAnon conspiracy view it favorably. Fully 92 percent of these respondents view it unfavorably — a net favorability of minus 83 percentage points."
According to The Economist, "The rating among people who attend church the most — once a month or more — is minus 52 points."
"We ran a statistical model to control for potential links between attitudes towards QAnon and other demographics — such as race, age, gender, education, party affiliation and vote choice in 2020," The Economist notes. "Our model confirmed that the relationship between church attendance and QAnon was not a statistical fluke: adults who attended church at least once a month were eight percentage points more likely than we predicted to rate QAnon favorably."
The Economist didn't find that QAnon is universally loved within Christianity by any means, but it did find that among Christians, white evangelicals are the most likely to be QAnon-friendly.
"White evangelicals, the most religiously devout group among those surveyed by YouGov, are particularly susceptible to supporting QAnon and believing other conspiracy theories," The Economist reports. "They also tend to attend church frequently. Twenty-two percent of evangelicals who know about QAnon view it favorably, according to YouGov's numbers — compared with 11 percent among the rest of the adult population. At the other end of the spectrum, 24 percent of evangelicals rate QAnon as 'very unfavorable,' compared with 58 percent among other people."
QAnon believes that the U.S. government has been infiltrated by an international cabal of child sex traffickers, pedophiles, Satanists and cannibals and that Trump was elected president in 2016 to fight the cabal. And as extreme as QAnon's beliefs are, some of their supporters are serving in Congress. Republican QAnon supporters who have been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives include Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado — and Michael Flynn, who briefly served as national security adviser under Trump in 2017, was a featured speaker at a QAnon event in Dallas.
Among white evangelicals, The Economist observes, a fondness for conspiracy theories isn't limited to those promoted by QAnon.
"White evangelicals are 34 percentage points more likely than other Americans to believe that 'millions of illegal votes' were cast in the 2020 election," according to The Economist. "These adults also tend to be more conservative, and vote for Republican politicians more often than non-whites and members of other religious groups do. Evangelicals are influenced by the official party line on issues of the day — even if they are conspiratorial. And adoption of one wild theory, perhaps made more persuasive by a politician's avowals, tends to lead to the adoption of others."
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