What is Parler and why it should be avoided
Drawing attention to this app is problematic, although having such discourse in plain sight is advantageous.
Awareness of its existence for educators and parents, and what its content reflects is necessary.
Ratings on Google apps = Teen
Ratings on The Apple Store = 17+
App Rating: 17+
Parler is in the news. Kindly described as a conservative breakaway Twitter, this app is increasing in popularity and is in the news for all the wrong reasons. Founded in America in 2018, and recently revealed to be associated with the individuals who brought you Cambridge Analytica.
Parler emerged as a platform for those who felt their points of view and freedom of speech where being unfairly limited by moderation on numerous other social media platforms. This app has both gained in popularity and rapidly descended in content quality. Freedom of speech is important, but freedom of speech is not without consequence – and this factor is largely ignored on this app. Please remember that everyone has the right to their own opinion, if you don't agree.....don't engage.
What is Parler?
It’s a chat site. Think a clunkier Twitter and you’re there.
However, it’s a chat site with pornography, obscenities, discussions of marijuana, blackmail and false rumours.Comments can be voted or echoed by users, just like Twitters like and retweet functions, and users may also direct message one another.
What is the issue?
Hate speech on this platform is unrestrained, and facts are not checked, Steve Bannon – a hard right extremist who’s calling publicly for the beheading of American epidemiologist Dr Fauci; who has been de-platformed from other social media apps – still holds an account here, as do other extreme right figures.
The argument that freedom of speech takes precedence over all other matters is profound on this app, and the definition of this appears to mean a freedom to incite violence, to be racist, and freely disparage any and all demographics typically protected under discrimination law, and spread unfounded conspiracy theories.
The platform despite its free speech ethos has been accused of removing post expressing left leaning members, and removing posts that contradicted popular theories on the platform.
The platforms CEO has publicly stated that it will never remove hate speech as he views it as so arbitrary that it cannot be properly defined.
Users who sign up should be advised to be very careful about the information they provide at the establishment of an account with considerable personal details required. Both email addresses, and phone numbers are required, with a confirmation text being sent. Should an individual wish for a verified account, a scan of a government issued photo identification is required.
The intent behind this action is to allow verified members limited interaction with trolls. Red badges are supplied for those verified, with celebrity figures acknowledged with gold.
Security purposes aside, and claims these documents are destroyed after verification, this opens a user to data harvesting and questions about the usage of this information by the application.
Join to stir? This is not advised.
Posts out of character for the style of the app or those that question the opinion of others can experience swift retribution via coordinated online abuse, and doxing should a user have not been exceptional careful with their personal information. People who elect to join to troll the various factions on Parler, are both advised against this, and advised to use extreme caution.
To summarise: When a common suggestion on multiple internet boards is to use a burner phone before engaging with this social media application logic should indicate not to proceed.
Following the ban in 2020 on Twitter, Facebook ,YouTube, Instagram and Reddit (2018) of Q Anon related content – the internet conspiracy theory taking root in reality – Parler’s user numbers increased leading the site to see 4 million daily users and 10 million in total. The explosion of this conspiracy group is causing concern in several nations including the USA and Australia – and Parler has been allowing this groups discourse to propagate. Trumpism in the USA is an inescapable part of Parler with supporters continuing to promote COVID19 hoax theories, and contested election disputes.The extreme right-wing content is increasing.
Political viewpoints vary wildly across the globe. There is a global problem with the dissemination of misinformation. This platform, whether it may have begun with the core of preserving free speech is of concern for its promotion of false information, the racial vilification, incitement to violence, and overt hostility towards minority groups – regardless of its political ideation or benign intent is toxic in large sections.
The points of view expressed in parts of Parler are dangerous.
Age restrictions need to be respected for this app. This is not an app for children.