The reviews are in, and it appears that former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is the only fan of the recently launched news site Verrit.
Peter Daou, political strategist and the internet director for Clinton's failed presidential run in 2008, announced the launch of a new website called Verrit. According to Daou, Verrit was created to be a news source for the 65.8 million Americans who voted for Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. Daou has complained Clinton supporters were underrepresented in the media.
The website itself has been subject to criticism for its distinct design and confusing Verrit "authentication codes."
Politico describes how the website functions:
Imagine if Matt Drudge created a Hillary fan site, only instead of listing news stories in a text-heavy fashion, he arranged them on the Web equivalent of 3×5 cards, and in addition to typing headlines onto the cards, he pulled out salient facts and stats from the stories (called "verrits"). Each card carries a unique serial number that you can plug into the Verrit database to prove … well, I don’t know exactly what it proves other than Verrit drew its facts and stats from the news source cited.
On Sunday, Clinton tweeted an endorsement of the website.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 3, 2017
Meanwhile, many were mocking Verrit and Daou.
Politico compared Verrit to "North Korean Agitprop" and called it a "propaganda rag so shameless it would make Kim Jong Un blush."
The Ringer called Verrit a media company "for nobody" and said it was "eCards masquerading as a news outlet."
It’s not a news outlet, it’s eCards by Peter masquerading as a news outlet. By attempting to spin itself as a source of information rather than a haven for Hillary-Should’ve-Won-Ism, the Daous have inadvertently created the most embarrassing paean to centrist Democrat groupthink since The West Wing’s fifth season. Verrit is a dispiriting, solipsistic monument to an unsuccessful campaign, somehow toothless and spiteful all at once.
Gizmodo said "no one asked for Verrit" and it has none of the qualities to last.
For a startup like this to work, it has to have a clearly defined mission, a valuable product, and an engaged base which actually has an interest in using the platform long-term. Verrit has none of these.
Washington Post reporter Abby Ohlheiser spent over an hour trying to figure out what Verrit is supposed to be.
Meanwhile, the vast majority of people still don’t seem to know what Verrit is, or why the Internet needs it. I’m here to tell you: That’s fine.
The liberal outlet Outline published a scathing profile of Daou and predicted Verrit would shut down before the end of the year.
Even if you disregard the sex jams about his aunt and his proud service in a right-wing militia, Daou still doesn’t seem to be of much use to the world. Verrit will almost surely shutter before the end of 2017, and other Clinton operatives appear to be wary of him.
The New Republic said Verrit's graphics look like they were designed in a "junior high graphic design class."
Daou told Business Insider that he is personally funding the website right now, and it shows. Its cards look like they were designed in a junior high graphic design class. Its "facts," which are supposed to be its key contribution to The Discourse, are shaky, and there are no public details available about how its verification process works.
Tech Crunch said of the site: "if a Hillary-endorsed media platform is tech’s best solution for ‘fake news’ then we’re screwed."
The Verge called Verrit the "blue MAGA hat of websites."
So why did Clinton endorse Verrit when it has been derided, mocked, and denounced as nothing more than a poorly designed propaganda outlet?
New York Magazine offered a defense to why Clinton endorsed the website.
"I have no special insight into Hillary Clinton’s Twitter process, but, look, in her defense, no one tweets out links to stuff they really like on Sunday night over Labor Day weekend," New York Magazine wrote.