With the skyrocketing popularity of the Parler app with conservatives thanks to its free speech philosophy, Twitter users have been creating accounts with such speed that it’s gotten notice from the mainstream media. As you can likely guess, the mainstream media isn’t happy about the idea of a free speech platform that isn’t policing conservative thought and information.
As you can guess, it’s immediately launched its opening salvos at the up and coming social media network.
Over at Yahoo, writer David Knowles said conservatives are angry at “what they see as political bias” on other social media networks and have thus begun flocking to Parler. After Tuesday’s censorship of President Donald Trump over saying he’d enforce the law against criminals, the banning of meme maker Carpe Donktum and Raheem Kassam, as well as its decision to drag its feet on a racist talker releasing a woman’s personal information, it’s safe to say that conservatives see it because it’s there.
What’s more, we have Facebook’s employees admitting their biased actions with pride thanks to a Project Veritas sting released on Tuesday as well.
Knowles proceeded to paint Parler as a place of conspiracy theories and fringe elements:
The list of trending hashtags at Parler on Monday morning made it clear that the site isn’t exactly a wellspring of variety when it comes to political opinion: #MAGA, #KAG and #TRUMP2020 took their place beside #Q, #QANON and #WWG1WGA (an abbreviation for the QAnon motto “Where We Go One We Go All”).
As advertised, Parler does not restrict or ban users for posts, no matter how offensive or absurd, such as one claiming that former first lady Michelle Obama is actually a transvestite. Other threads mock Black Lives Matter protesters and decry the movement to remove Confederate monuments.
This is, of course, nonsense. Parler’s users include many accounts that have no right to be considered “fringe,” including Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, The Federalist’s Sean Davis, and Molly Hemingway, Tim Pool, Buck Sexton, Jesse Kelly, Eric Trump, Dan Bongino, Ian Miles Cheong, and more.
The Independent’s Adam Smith did much the same as Yahoo and began listing all the fringe stuff that appeared on the site in order to paint Parler as a hater’s hub:
Jewish News website Forward has said that the app is “full of fury, fear and conspiracy theories” with notable antisemitism and Islamophobia.
“The belief that Jews are running the world, encouraging immigrants to flood America’s borders, controlling the media and generally working behind the scenes as master puppeteers are easy to find on Parler” it continues.
Antisemitic conspiracy theories about Mark Zuckerberg and George Soros are also commonplace.
Many users are also vocal supporters of Mr Trump, and have developed far-right communities on the platform.
Upon signing up to the website, Parler recommended trends that were popular “right now” included #trumptweetsmatter, #kukluxklan, #georgesoros and #covidiots.
There were also a number of tweets related to Christianity, with hashtags including #2NDCOMING and #godislove
Under the #kukluxklan were six posts. Two of which were about the recently deceased Senator Robert Byrd, a member of the Klan who came to embrace civil rights and desegregation in the 1970s.
What neither of these articles tends to focus on is the fact that when you have a free speech platform where you’re not going to be censored for most things is that free speech includes speech that is ridiculous and hateful. If you give anyone a platform to say what they want free of consequence then you’re going to attract negative elements, however, it should be understood that this would only make up a fringe element on the site.
Free speech is appealing to everyone, especially people who have very sensible and reasonable things to say. This would make up the bulk of Parler’s users. To say that Parler is a KKK platform is like saying the Earth is nothing but California. It’s a shallow view that paints a really great place as represented by its worst aspects.