Tired Of Censorship Police, Twitter And Facebook Users Switch To Parler App
Millions of conservative and libertarian Americans have switched to alternative social media network Parler after watching Twitter and Facebook add labels to posts from POTUS and other Republicans who falsely claim Trump won the election.
Many of the labels say the claims are disputed and some of Trump’s tweets were hidden completely on Twitter.
“Facebook started muting, deleting and labeling every conservative political post in my feed,” Corey Adam, a political comedian from Minneapolis, told the New York Times. “If you’re going to do something, you have to be fair to both sides. You don’t just get to pick one side to promote.”
Parler was the No. 1 free app download on Google Play and Apple App Store on Tuesday, according to market research firm SensorTower.
Parler said its membership jumped from 4.5 million on Nov. 2 to about 8 million, with 500,000 active two weeks ago, and about 4 million active now, USA Today reported.
Twitter and Facebook, already the targets of complaints about liberal bias, have fuelled distrust of the mainstream social media platforms among some Trump supporters. It reached boiling point around Election Day.
Parler users are mostly Trump supporters who agree with the president’s decision to keep fighting the results of the election, according to NBC News. They feel that policies regulating hate speech, harassment and disinformation have gone too far.
However, Parler’s “embrace by prominent conservatives and its sudden influx of users hint at a once informal online dynamic that has recently become more official: the blue internet and the red internet,” David Ingram wrote for NBC.
Facebook and Twitter have mostly been hands-off when it comes to digital speech, which has also earned them criticism. Recently, they stepped up efforts to prevent election misinformation, labeling false posts and slowing down how quickly they could be shared. They said many of the changes would be temporary.
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Facebook took down a fast-growing group, Stop the Steal, which promoted the idea of a stolen election. A public group promoting a coordinated “mass exit” from Facebook on Nov. 13 attracted more than 451,000 people who said they’re “going” or “interested” on Tuesday afternoon, USA Today reported. By Wednesday afternoon, that had grown to 462,800 people.
Donald Trump Jr., Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, all have Parler accounts. Named for the French word “to speak,” Parler was founded in 2018 by Nevada software engineers John Matze and Jared Thomson. The free speech platform has loose guidelines around what people can post.
Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories abound on Parler along with “posts about MAGA fodder and QAnon, the pro-Trump conspiracy theory that asserts that some top Democrats are satanic pedophiles,” New York Times reported.
Parler’s rise may have come at a good time for the platforms it’s meant to replace, according to NBC News. Facebook has been under scrutiny for antitrust issues, market dominance and stifling competition in social media. The Federal Communications Commission is considering revising the protections tech companies have against lawsuits, including those for defamation.