There is probably no better encapsulation of the current state of American politics, culture and technology than the fact that someone has seen fit to launch a dedicated social network for Hillary Clinton supporters, hived off from the other big social platforms – which was, of course, promptly hacked.
On Sunday night, the former Secretary of State and presidential candidate caused a minor stir by endorsing the new social network, “Verrit,” on her official Twitter account.
Launched in June, Verrit is billed as a “social network for the 65.8 million,” referring to the number of voters who cast their ballots for Clinton in 2016. Its mission is to provide a “sanctuary in a chaotic media environment,” presumably free from the vitriol that attends political discourse in other online platforms.
It’s also intended to supply Clinton supporters with trustworthy news, information and opinion that members can share on other social platforms to advance liberal causes, including selected quotes and prepackaged facts.
Clinton’s endorsement of Verrit is a first for the politician. Like her peers, she has assiduously cultivated followings on the established social platforms, but hasn’t made a habit of promoting new entrants.
Her support was explained by the identity of the person behind Verrit: Peter Daou, its founder. He worked on Clinton’s unsuccessful 2008 primary campaign and also ran ShareBlue, a partisan news site that vigorously advocated for the Democrat in 2016, according to Recode, which first reported the news.
Immediately following the endorsement, Verrit added about 10,000 new followers on Twitter. But then, as so often happens, things went sideways.
Predictably, like anything associated with contemporary American politics or society, Verrit was immediately hacked and crashed by a “pretty significant and sophisticated” online attack, Daou tells Recode.
The assailants remain unidentified, which will doubtless fuel speculation that Russian intelligence operatives are in some way involved — although experience suggests Americans are quite capable of crapping the bed of our collective public life all by ourselves.