Parler Tops App Stores As Free-Speech Social Media
Monday, November 16, 2020
Photo by Jacob Aere
Parler has become one of the most-downloaded apps in the United States since the general election.
CEO John Matze, originally from Poway, says part of the reason the app has seen recent success is due to its focus on free speech, lack of censorship and belief in community fact checking.
Parler is one of a handful of media companies with a largely conservative user base that has received an influx of accounts since election day.
The app is seen as an alternative to Twitter, but Parler does not fact-check content. The company claims that verification will be driven by users on the platform.
“People from all walks of life, fed up with opaque, biased content curation, inconsistent agenda-driven fact checking, and manipulative algorithms built on data mining, are joining Parler to speak free,” Matze said in a company statement.
While Parler regards itself as a non-biased, free speech company, some, like Tammy Gillies from the Anti-Defamation League of San Diego, see it as a safe haven and echo chamber to espouse hateful opinions and encourage violence.
“Free speech does not give you the freedom to slander, the freedom to incite violence, the freedom to threaten somebody else. The concern is that is potentially what is happening on Parler,” Gillies said. “It is being used by extremists for recruitment and incitement of violence and we have concerns about that.”
Since the election, Parler has seen rapid growth and now has over 10 million registered accounts.
It comes as other major social media companies like Twitter and Facebook decided to clamp down on the spread of election misinformation and disinformation.
“Facebook and Twitter’s suppression of election information was a catalyst, causing many people to lose their trust ...Together we will continue to stand up to cancel culture, defy authoritarian content curation, and reclaim the Internet as a free and open town square,” Matze said in his statement.
Some other media outlets that have seen large increases in users over recent weeks include: MeWe, Rumble and the apps for Newsmax and OANN, all of which have a majority conservative user base.
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