The Right’s New Favorite Social Media Platform Parler Is Just as Restrictive as Twitter
The platform bans ‘fisticuffs’ but allows ‘buttock’
Conservative internet personalities are migrating to Parler, a social media app created in 2018 that bills itself as a “non-biased free speech” platform. The wave of support follows Twitter’s recent decision to permanently suspend Logan Cook, a pro-Trump meme creator who goes by the moniker “CarpeDonktum” and was removed from the platform on Tuesday over repeated copyright violations.
But while Parler claims to promote “free expression,” a closer look at its guidelines reveals a set of rules that in many ways is just as restrictive, or even more so, than Twitter’s own terms of service.
Trump Supporters Flock to ‘Free Speech’ Platforms After Facebook Ban
Parler, MeWe, and Rumble are attracting users who feel spurned by Facebook and Twitter
Parler (pronounced “par-lay,” as in the French word meaning “to speak”) was founded by John Matze, a libertarian software developer in Nevada who briefly worked at Amazon, according to LinkedIn. It is functionally similar to Twitter, allowing people to follow other users and access a news feed akin to Twitter Moments but overwhelmingly populated by conservative pundits, politicians, and outlets like Zero Hedge and Epoch Times. Posts can be upvoted or downvoted and “echoed” rather than retweeted. Parler also features a built-in meme maker containing filters such as a “Breaking News” chyron. Matze claims the platform has roughly 1 million users, up from an estimated 100,000 last year.
Parler’s surges in popularity over the past two years have been mostly linked to the moderation of conservative figures on Twitter. Several months after its launch in August, Parler experienced a bump in users after far-right activist Laura Loomer and pro-Trump commentator Candace Owens were respectively banned and suspended by Twitter. Both Owens and Loomer joined Parler in 2018, along with other figures such as YouTube host Paul Joseph Watson, Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, and Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale. Matze has appeared on Fox News describing Parler as a haven for people…