Last week, Gettr, the social media site that sells itself as a MAGA alternative to Twitter, entered damage control mode. The hugely popular podcaster Joe Rogan, who days earlier had signed up for the app, was publicly blasting Gettr as “fuckery” and “fugazi” and accusing the startup of artificially boosting his follower count by adding his massive Twitter following of 8 million to his much smaller audience on Gettr. Rogan was essentially saying Gettr was juicing the numbers and claiming millions of users it didn’t have.
An attack from Rogan, the host of the biggest podcast in the country who is popular on the right, was a big problem for a social media firm that is only six months old and targets conservatives as its consumer base. As he dealt with the fallout, Jason Miller, the former Trump campaign spokesperson who is the company’s CEO, traded messages with Guo Wengui, the controversial fugitive Chinese billionaire and ally of Steve Bannon, whose company created an early version of Gettr. Miller and Gettr have repeatedly asserted that Guo does not play an active role in the company’s operations. But these messages—which were obtained by Mother Jones—show Guo dispensing advice (arguably instructions) to Miller and suggest he is more involved than the company has acknowledged.