Parler, Telegram, Gab and More Become Popular Alternatives to Facebook and Twitter
Parler, a popular alternative to Facebook and Twitter, has been growing rapidly in recent weeks. Users have flocked to it, along with messaging app Telegram and social site Gab, as they complain that major platforms are increasingly censoring their comments.
The platform’s founder, John Matze, has positioned it as a “free speech” app that doesn’t use content moderation. That has attracted conservatives who disagree with censorship on other platforms.
What is Parler?
Parler is a social media app that has recently gained a lot of popularity. The app soared to the top of the Google Play and App Store free downloads charts, gaining a large number of users.
The app was launched in 2018 as a conservative-friendly alternative to big social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. It’s backed by Rebekah Mercer, daughter of Robert Mercer, a billionaire investor who reportedly helped finance Breitbart News and President Trump’s campaign.
The Parler app quickly became popular with right-wing personalities, many of whom had been banned from other social media sites. They sought a platform where they could practice their “free speech” without being fact-checked or censored.
Why is Parler so popular?
A social media platform called Parler has been gaining popularity since it launched in 2018. It’s the perfect place to find conservative political content and engage with like-minded people.
The app allows users to post short messages, links, and photos. It also has a “discover news” section that recommends far-right blogs and news aggregators.
According to data from analytics firm Sensor Tower, the first ten days of January saw about 870,000 new users install the app on Apple devices.
It’s not just right-wingers using the site – high profile politicians like Senator Rand Paul and Sean Hannity, as well as news personalities such as Maria Bartiromo, have all signed up for Parler.
President Trump’s campaign account has also been using the app, promoting baseless theories of election fraud that have been debunked by experts and news outlets. Despite its emphasis on free speech, Parler doesn’t have fact checkers to flag posts that spread untrue claims.
How does Parler work?
Parler is an app that allows users to broadcast messages — known as “parleys” — to their followers and share others’ posts by “echoing” them instead of “retweeting.” The site also has an option to post photos, GIFs and memes.
It was launched in 2018 by University of Denver graduates Matze and Jared Thomson. They conceived of it as an alternative to Twitter, which they say is overwhelmed by a lack of transparency and ideological suppression.
The company says it won’t sell user data and doesn’t target ads. However, it does require users to agree wit its privacy policies and Terms of service before they can begin using the platform.
Parler has become an irritant to Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks because it allows conservatives to reach their audiences despite the censorship practices of those companies. During the 2020 election and in the aftermath, usage on Parler soared after Twitter, Facebook and other social networks banned or demonetized prominent conservatives and pundits.
Who uses Parler?
Parler is a social media app that caters to conservatives. Its user growth peaks often coincided with political events in the U.S., and users were lured in by the prospect of an online home where they could express their conservative views without fear of censorship on Facebook and Twitter.
But then Parler started to suffer bans from major social networks like Google GOOG, -0.27% and Apple AAPL, +0.29%. It was also hit with a suspension from Amazon AMZN, -0.08%, which hosts the platform on its cloud services.
During these times, the company had a hard time keeping its app up and running. It also fired its co-founder, John Matze, in 2021.
Parler uses a hybrid approach to enforce its community guidelines, combining AI with human review by members of the “Community Jury.” The company takes violent threats seriously and removes posts that encourage violence or crime. It also lets users mute or block posts and has optional filters and splash screens (web version).