Parler Popularity Surges After Election Censorship

The social media platform Parler has surge in popularity after Silicon Valley ramped up their censorship of discussion about the election, Breitbart reports.

Parler topped Apple’s App Store for the first time over the weekend. From Election Day, November 3, the social media platform was downloaded nearly 1 million times on the Google Play Store and iOS App Store, around the time as Facebook and Twitter cracked down on what they viewed  as “election misinformation,” including the “Stop the Steal” campaign claiming voter fraud. A hashtag for the campaign has 15,000 mentions on Parler.

“I think people are really just fed up with what’s going on on Twitter and Facebook, and these other places that are really cracking down and trying to just interfere with what people are trying to talk about during this time,” said Parler CEO John Matze in an interview with Fox Business.

Research firm Apptopia told Fox Business that downloads for the “non-biased, free speech” platform topped 310,000 over the past week, with the peak starting on November 6, days after the presidential election. The app had been downloaded just over 150,000 times in the week prior.

“Once you start content curation, and you start fact-checking or introducing bias, and I don’t think that there’s any perfect group without bias, so, in terms of being a platform for transparency and free speech, they’ve gone way too far,” said Matze.

Matze added that because Twitter is acting as a publisher, the social media platform should not be exempt through Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act.

“If you’re editorializing content, you’re no longer 230 exempted, which means that you’re acting as a publisher,” said Matze. “And Judge Clarence Thomas has even indicated under the current definition of the Section 230 law, this would be defining them as a publication, and could remove their protections.”

“And this is particularly concerning, because President Trump and former vice president Biden, they’re campaigns know more about the election than Twitter and Facebook ‘s fact-checkers,” he added. “They’ve been working on this stuff for years.”

Matze also described to Parler as a virtual “town square” where people can meet and speak freely.

“Right now, [Parler is] a town square where people can talk and get things out, and be transparent, without fact-checkers, without editorial bullies trying to tell you what to think,” said Matze.

“Parler is, really, the only place in terms of social media that’s allowing that,” he added.



About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met and married an American journalist and moved to D.C. from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A. in Graphics, Media, and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

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