Parler: What you need to know about the social media platform touting no censorship

Parler logo (Parler)

HOUSTON – A red logo sporting the letter P was the first time some had seen a mention of Parler, but it’s quickly entered the mainstream with a flood of people in the past week saying they’re leaving social media to all go meet on another app called Parler.

So, what do you need to know about this app and why is everyone going there?

Here’s a breakdown of what we know and don’t know yet about the social media platform.

What is Parler?

Parler, according to the website Know Your Meme, which offers a history of popularized sites and trends online, is described as a “microblogging and social networking service generally deemed similar to Twitter in its functionality.”

Parler is generally marketed as “an unbiased, free-speech social media platform and has gained notoriety as a haven for social media personalities who have been banned by mainstream platforms,” according to Know Your Meme.

In recent days – particularly since former Vice President Joe Biden was named president-elect – the social media platform has garnered popularity among conservative, far-right and alt-right users looking for a place to post their opinions without checks on their postings, as has become the norm on Twitter and Facebook in widespread efforts to combat disinformation and misinformation on those social media platforms.

On its website, Parler shares this description on the homepage: “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.”

Parler's homepage, as of Nov. 10, 2020. (Parler)

The company’s “about” page says it is a “solution to problems that have surfaced in recent years due to changes in Big Tech policy influenced by various special-interest groups,” adding, “Parler is built upon a foundation of respect for privacy and personal data, free speech, free markets, and ethical, transparent corporate policy.”

Who is behind it?

Parler’s founder is John Matze. The company, started in 2018 is based in Henderson, Nevada and is reportedly owned by Dan Bongino, a conservative political commentator.

Who is on it?

Trump supporters and right-wing conservatives have flocked to Parler since the election as many say they believe mainstream social media platforms have unfairly censored their views.

Other sites, such as MeWe or Gab, are other alternatives that have recently gained popularity.

How did it get so popular?

Since the election, high-profile personalities including Fox Business News host Maria Bartiromo and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich advertised the platform to their viewers and listeners, encouraging them to sign up, according to reports.

The platform has since become a common post on people’s social media pages with messages or simply the logo telling people that they’re migrating to Parler from mainstream social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Will it catch on?

Millions of people are on the social media platform now with accounts like Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s page reportedly garnering more than 3 million, Fox host Sean Hannity with 2.5 million and Eric Trump with 1.4 million.

Though it remains to be seen whether the platform will get the billions that Facebook has, the app has enjoyed chart-topping app status since the election.

Have you joined Parler? What do you like about it?

About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.