Parler, the "free speech" Twitter wannabe, explained - 2020-11-24

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F0.png Parler, the "free speech" Twitter wannabe, explained November 24, 2020, Rebecca Heilweil, Vox

In recent weeks, you may have been hearing more about a site called Parler, which conservatives are touting as an alternative to Twitter and Facebook. From Ivanka Trump to the governor of Nebraska, right-wing influencers are asking those frustrated with alleged Big Tech censorship to join them on Parler, a two-year-old app and website that promises free speech online. It's social media — minus the curation algorithms and content moderation.

Parler, which has been around since 2018, looks at first glance a lot like Twitter and Facebook. Open the app, there are profiles pushing doubt about the 2020 election's results and declarations that the mainstream tech platforms are targeting free speech. With just a few clicks, it's easy to find even more extreme right-wing voices and hate speech. Overall, the site appears like an amalgamation of some of the most odious factions of social media, centralized on one platform that's attracted millions of users.

In the final days of the 2020 election, Parler's popularity exploded. Searches for "Parler" have surged since late October, and the app saw a spike in downloads after Joe Biden won the White House. Currently, Parler is No. 4 in the news category on the Apple App Store. (At one point in November, the app actually reached the top slot in the App Store, though it's since fallen significantly in the rankings.) The Washington Post reports that the site now has more than 10 million users, and the company's COO has said that the user base is continuing to grow by the millions.

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | first = Rebecca | last = Heilweil | title = Parler, the "free speech" Twitter wannabe, explained | url = | work = Vox | date = November 24, 2020 | accessdate = September 1, 2021 }}