Twitter and Facebook have been cracking down on political misinformation by adding labels to posts including those shared by President Donald Trump. Now more conservatives are flocking to an alternative social network called Parler.
Twitter and Facebook, which have repeatedly denied allegations of conservative bias, have suspended many well-known members from their platforms for violating their rules. Examples are journalist and Republican House of Representatives nominee in Florida, Laura Loomer, President Donald Trump, political consultant Roger Stone, Sheriff David Clarke, actor James Woods, along with 10,000 others.
Over the weekend, high-profile conservatives urged others to join Parler after major news outlets projected Biden’s victory. “Twitter has aided the Democrat Party in stealing this election and now everything Trump says is being silenced. Tell everyone you know to get on Parler,” Laura Loomer told her more than 687,000 followers on Parler on Saturday.
Loomer is just one of the millions of people who’ve recently sought refuge with Parler, which calls itself a nonbiased, free speech-driven platform. Republicans such as Sen. Ted Cruz from Texas have been promoting the app this year since Twitter started applying labels to Trump’s tweets that falsely claimed fraud with mail-in ballots or that the company said glorified violence.
As of Monday, Parler is the top free app in Apple’s and Google’s app stores. On Nov. 8, Parler racked up roughly 636,000 installs in the US from the Apple App Store and Google Play, the most downloads the app has seen in a single day, according to preliminary estimates from Sensor Tower, which analyzes mobile app data. From Nov. 3 to Nov. 8, Parler reached more than 980,000 downloads in the US. The app has roughly 3.6 million installs in the US, according to Sensor Tower.
While the app’s membership skews conservative, Parler CEO and co-founder John Matze said in a statement “we welcome all to join our platform which emphasizes free speech and open discourse.”
Facebook and Twitter have labeled posts that push baseless claims about voter fraud, but Parler has left those messages untouched on its platform. Matze told Fox News last week that Twitter and Facebook went too far by labeling Trump’s posts, accusing the platforms of biased “editorialization.”
Launched in 2018, Parler is a social media app created by University of Denver graduates Matze and Jared Thomson. They came up with Parler because they were “exhausted with a lack of transparency in big tech, ideological suppression and privacy abuse,” according to Parler’s website.
The private company is based in Henderson, Nevada, and has between 11 and 50 employees, according to LinkedIn. Parler means “to talk” in French and is meant to be pronounced as PAR-lay. But as more people started saying the app’s name like the English word “parlor,” that pronunciation took over.
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