Parler right-wing social media platform attracts users after FB, Twitter tighten misinformation rules

Political News

Parler user scrolls through feed of Fox News host Sean Hannity. (NEXSTAR)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As social media giants Facebook and Twitter elected to become more proactive in flagging misinformation ahead of the 2020 election, several users say they’re abandoning them in favor of “unbiased social media.”

Facebook and Twitter’s tightening of rules on posting unsubstantiated claims and/or misleading articles, has been lauded by many and derided by others, namely conservatives, who claim the platforms are only flagging their content.

That includes conservatives like Pres. Donald Trump, whose Twitter account displays more flags than an Olympics ceremony.

In fact, Trump’s first tweet on Sunday morning blasting an alleged “Rigged Election Hoax!” was labeled: “This claim about election fraud is disputed.”

Now, many other users with often-labeled posts are flocking to Parler.

The app has shot into the forefront of right-wing culture — with the platform touting itself as a place where users can “Read News. Speak Free.”

The app was launched in 2018 and is owned by right-wing commentator Dan Bongino, a frequent guest on Alex Jones’ Infowars show, who says his “entire life” is about “owning the libs.”

Bongino aims to make Parler a Twitter alternative, while his other platform, Rumble, positions itself as a far-right YouTube.

Parler — which is French for “to speak” — has already attracted conservative big-names like Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Eric Trump is also a user, with 396,000 followers, while Pres. Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani has 322,000.

Back in October, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, both testified before a Senate committee in defense of their platform’s regulation of certain content.

According to The New York Times, content that can currently be found on Parler include anti-Semitic speech and QAnon conspiracy theories. Meanwhile, Fortune Magazine writes that Parler is a “haven for extremists” where racist rhetoric and Holocaust denial claims abound.

The Anti Defamation League recently published an article titled, “Parler: Where the Mainstream Mingles with the Extreme,” breaking down some of the top accounts on Parler, which includes the Proud Boys with 102,000 followers and QAnon+, which has 44,000.

Additionally, ADL explains Parler is home to several known white supremacists, including KKK leader David Duke.

The league says it’s monitoring Parler and will “call out hate when we see it.”

Nevertheless, Parler says it does monitor content while still allowing “free speech.”

“Although Parler may make efforts to review or monitor content, you agree that you will not rely on this fact for any purpose,” Parler’s terms read.

The company also notes it will not be held responsible for any “fraudulent,” “damaging,” or “offensive,” content.

In response to the rise of the platform, a Reddit page called ParlerWatch was created in an attempt to draw attention to “insane, threatening, or violent content from the social media platform Parler.”

Parler is currently the number 6 top download on Apple’s App Store chart.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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