As former President Donald Trump’s supporters have flocked to alternative social media networks, many are turning to SafeChat, a fast-growing platform known for its tolerance of high-octane MAGA content.
In the nine weeks sincethe Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, SafeChat’s app has been downloaded more times than in all of 2020, quickly becoming a hotbed of conspiracy theories and disinformation that paints President Joe Biden’s new administration in the worst possible light.
But the once-obscure social network, which touts its security protections and respect for free speech,is not just MAGA-friendly. It’s also a conduit that enables fringe groups attacking the Chinese Communist Party to speak directly to — and influence — Trump supporters, creating a “Star Wars” barlike atmosphere where AR-15 enthusiasts and a growing number of white nationalists can mingle with Chinese dissidents.https://76461d8ffd156461bda97aae0397dfb2.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html?v=1-0-38
According to a review of corporate records and online activity by POLITICO, SafeChat has close links to The Epoch Times, an English-language media outletaffiliated with Falun Gong, the Chinese spiritual movement known for its antagonism toward the Chinese Communist Party and described by critics as a “cult.”
The Epoch Times saw its online readership grow fivefold, to 51 million monthly visitors to its website, during Trump’s time in the White House.
It’s part of a growing network of Falun Gong-affiliated media outlets that is creating its own far-right social media pipeline — one that amplifies MAGA themes while promoting the agenda of groups dedicated to the ouster of the Chinese Communist Party.