Twitter is increasingly hostile to conservatives and their viewpoints, but users have found a refuge on Parler, a fast-growing conservative alternative to the popular social media platform.
According to the company’s co-founder and CEO John Matze Jr., Parler gained an additional 1 million users since around the time Twitter banned two popular conservatives last week, essentially doubling the number of users on the app.
“Our main focus is free speech — the idea that there’s no political censorship,” Matze told Stuart Varney on Fox Business on Monday.
“It’s a town square for people to get together and have conversations whether it’s about politics, about their hobbies or whatever it might be but without the idea that there’s somebody looking over your shoulder saying, ‘Is that a politically correct view or not? Is that one you’re supposed to have?'” Matze said.
“We really just want to do that while retaining people’s right to privacy,” Matze said, promising that his company does not sell personal data.
He also said the new users were “mostly conservatives” along with some young, leftist Black Lives Matter protesters “who’ve actually come to argue with the conservatives who are joining.”
“So it seems that it’s kind of a big movement,” Matze said.
While Matze said the company has many decency standards comparable to “daytime television” or acceptable public behavior, the platform doesn’t censor viewpoints.
“We don’t really care politically what people think; we just want people to have a discussion in a cordial, friendly manner like you’d have on a town square and that’s it — share information and communicate with one another.”
“We don’t care about your political views, we encourage people to debate.”
Download Parler Social Media!
Free speech and expression.
We will never sell or share your data!
— Parler (@parler_app) February 7, 2020
Many high-profile Republican politicians such as Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz have joined the platform.
Parler also counts President Donald Trump’s son Eric and his wife as well as the Trump 2020 presidential re-election campaign as users, according to Forbes.
While many still maintain their Twitter accounts, Gaetz used the platform to explain the move and encourage his followers over to Parler.
“I’m on @parler_app. Follow me now! @RepMattGaetz,” he tweeted.
“Technology companies shouldn’t be able to put their thumb on the scale and reshape speech in our country. Features of the technology should apply equally to people regardless of viewpoint.”
Technology companies shouldn’t be able to put their thumb on the scale and reshape speech in our country. Features of the technology should apply equally to people regardless of viewpoint.
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) June 25, 2020
Although the approximately 330 million who use Twitter each month dwarf Parler’s numbers, the shift is a bellwether for those on the right who are fed up with Twitter’s liberal bias.
Just last month, President Donald Trump officially pushed back, issuing an executive order seeking to strip protections that Twitter and other social media enjoy as a platform despite their editorial decisions that censor viewpoints.
Twitter has even flagged several of the president’s tweets, including making accusations such as “abusive behavior” for his strong language against the protesters who took over and cordoned off a section of Seattle known as CHOP which has since become a hotbed of violence.
But the recent influx of new Parler users seemed to coincide mostly with the recent blatant examples of Twitter’s editorial bias.
On Tuesday, Twitter permanently banned the account Carpe Donktum, run by Logan Cook, over supposed copyright infringement regarding a parody video. Parody is largely protected from copyright protection under free speech laws.
Trump often retweeted Cook’s memes and parodies, including the video which led to his being banned.
The video skewered CNN for its media bias using a clip of a black toddler and a white toddler, who are friends in real life, doctored to show how the network would use infographics to turn a heartwarming story into a contentious, racist narrative, according to Fox News.
Twitter also recently locked The National Pulse editor-in-chief Raheem Kassam’s account for sharing a video of three white people being stabbed to death during a Black Lives Matter protest in the U.K.
The social media company cited standards involving portraying an individual’s death.
“For some reason,” the conservative editor told The National Pulse, “the [George] Floyd death remains up on Twitter but the deaths of three white men at the hands of a Libyan asylum seeker must come down? People can draw their own conclusions.”
Cook had hundreds of thousands of followers with whom he can no longer interact on the site.
The good news is that Parler, which was founded in 2018, provides the perfect alternative to the social media bias that pervades Twitter.
In the meantime, the Goliath Twitter should take notice of the small but mighty social media company aiming a damaging shot between its eyes.
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