Today we’ve learned of Parler’s response to a February 8th letter from Chairwoman Maloney of the US Committee on Oversight and Reform. The situation surrounding the social media company deals with the political fallout and investigation in regards to what role Parler had with the events of January 6th, 2021.
They start out with a direct denial of Russian collusion and the conspiracy theory that former President Trump was offered “an ownership interest” in Parler. Parler’s response then goes into how it came off in the aftermath of January 6th that Parler as a platform was a scapegoat. Even though now we know that Facebook was a primary platform of organization for rally/riot related activities.
The ban of President Trump in the days following the Capitol Riot did indeed catapult Parler’s popularity. It was crippled with the removal of it from Amazon, Apple, and Google each, over alleged “moderation concerns” as the stated reasoning.
Thus we get to the point of Parler’s response. They were actively working with the FBI even before January 6th.
“As Parler grew substantially in the latter half of 2020, the Company took the extraordinary initiative to develop formal lines of communication with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) to facilitate proactive cooperation and referrals of violent threats and incitement to law enforcement. In fact, in the days and weeks leading up to January 6th, Parler referred violent content from its platform to the FBI for investigation over 50 times, and Parler even alerted law enforcement to specific threats of violence being planned at the Capitol.”
Parler’s response to Chairwoman Maloney emphasizes the need to investigate the collusion from Big Tech to get in the company’s way and sabotage their platform.
Parler attaches FBI communication from November 2020 as proof that a working relationship between the platform and authorities was in place.
Alongside individual threats against former Attorney General Bill Barr, Parler’s people explain the FBI outreach that took place leading up to the riot:
“In December 2020, Parler also began to alert the FBI about alarming content that included specific threats of organized violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. For example, on December 24, Parler forwarded a post to the FBI from a user who called for the congregation of an armed force of 150,000 on the Virginia side of the Potomac River to “react to the congressional events of January 6th.” Later that same day, Parler forwarded another unlawful post to the FBI in which a user stated that he was trying to “find some guys that are planning on lighting up Antifa in Wa[shington, D.C.] on the 6th” because he wanted to “start eliminating people.”
The rest of the response letter goes into how Facebook and Twitter also played a role surrounding the events of January 6th.