New social media platform Parler draws users seeking ‘free speech’ platform

Tech

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — The growing social media platform Parler reports it’s gaining new followers at a record rate. The website and app claims to be a “free speech social network.”

“Since Friday, over 4.5 million new people have created accounts, and engagement has surged. Over 5 million individuals were active on Parler yesterday, an 8-fold increase from daily activity just a week ago. Our session activity has increased by well over 20 times during the same period,” said John Matze, Parler CEO.

Members already include high-profile conservative lawmakers and media personalities. Matze said people are turning to Parler because they are fed up with what they perceive to be censorship on social media.

The social media network launched in 2018, but it’s gaining more attention now.

Patrick Allmond is a social media and marketing expert in Oklahoma. He joined Parler to see what it’s all about.

“As soon as I joined, I was suggested a bunch of hashtags and a bunch of people to follow who I’ve never ever heard of,” said Allmond.

The growing number of people on Parler is coming as sites like Facebook and Twitter are flagging more posts containing what they say is misinformation. Twitter has even flagged some of President Donald Trump’s posts from his personal social media account for information they deemed misleading.

Allmond said this action could actually help private companies.

“It’s really in the social media’s interest to not help propagate that. It’s an amplifier,” said Allmond.

But the “misleading content flags” are upsetting some Twitter users, who are now turning to Parler. Many of the users believe they will not be censored there.

But if you take a closer look at their community guidelines, the content may still be removed and access will be terminated if users violate Parler’s terms of service. Some examples of violations include: posts on behalf of terrorist organizations, child pornography, and copyright violations, crime or civil tort.

Their guidelines read in part:

“Parler will not knowingly allow itself to be used as a tool for crime, civil torts, or other unlawful acts. We will remove reported member content that a reasonable and objective observer would believe constitutes or evidences. We may also remove the accounts of members who use our platform in this way. Sometimes the law requires us to exclude content from our platform, once it is reported to our Community Jury. Obvious examples: content posted by or on behalf of terrorist organizations, child pornography, and copyright violations. Other times, even though the law may not require us to flag or remove reported content, or to ban a member, we may nonetheless do so, in order to prevent our services from being used by someone in the commission of a crime or civil tort, especially when these interfere with our mission of providing a welcoming, nonpartisan Public Square.”

Allmond says before you make the switch, be prepared to see new viewpoints.

“So like all things, I tell people hop on there, try it out but be prepared, a lot of your friends aren’t going to be on there and you may see a lot of viewpoints on there that you’re not used to,” said Allmond.

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