Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should be aware that Trump has recently been tossed off Twitter, a platform where he boasted more than 88 million followers and constantly aired his latest grievances.
And to compound his problems, he was also banned from Facebook.
Though it’s not only the president himself who’s being silenced on the social media platform. Many of his supporters have posted controversial things on the site, leading to a warning or suspension of their accounts.
Now, without a platform for their tirades, many supporters of the American president have turned to a self-dubbed “Unbiased, free speech social network” named Parler. For many, this is the first they’ve heard of the platform, so we’ve broken down what it is and how it works.
What is Parler?
“Speak freely and express yourself openly, without fear of being “deplatformed” for your views. Engage with real people, not bots. Parler is people and privacy-focused, and gives you the tools you need to curate your Parler experience,” is the opening text on the Parler website.
The platform was started in 2018 by John Matze and works a lot like Twitter. Users can post opinions and images, which other users can comment on or ‘echo’ (similar to retweeting).
Parler claims to only have two rules;
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- No posting anything unlawful
- No spam
The company has said in a statement that it “does not remove content based on politics or ideology”, and is “dedicated to free speech”, hence the influx of republicans.
How is it connected to Trump?
As mentioned earlier, many Trump supporters have been silenced on Twitter after posting controversial photos and opinions. Many of these posts are related to the recent storming of the US Capitol.
Pair this with the displeasure of having their favoured electoral candidate being banned from Twitter, a lot of Trump’s supporters have sought an alternative place to voice their opinion.
While the president himself isn’t on Parler, following Trump’s ban from Twitter and Facebook, his fans flocked to the app. Over 210,000 people downloaded the app on Friday, up 281%, and last night it surged to the No 1 downloaded free app in America.
Why can’t I find Parler on the app store?
While downloads of the app were absolutely skyrocketing, Google has removed it from their app stores for now.
Google said in a statement that they had pulled the app because it wasn’t enforcing its own moderation policies as well as continued posts on the app that sought to incite violence.
This morning, Apple gave Parler 24 hours to comply by their policies otherwise they would remove it from their app store.
“We want to be clear that Parler is in fact responsible for all the user-generated content present on your service and for ensuring that this content meets App Store requirements for the safety and protection of our users.”