Facebook's Oversight Board on Tuesday upheld the social media platform's ban of former President Trump, and shortly thereafter, Parler began trending on Twitter. Parler is an app that was made to be a counter to the social media platforms Twitter and Facebook, both of which have notably suppressed conservative media on their sites.
Parler entered the social media landscape with the intention of being a free speech oriented platform, and conservative users flocked to it. Mainstream media pundits had said that if conservatives didn't like the existing social media platforms, they should make their own. When they did, it was banned by Apple and Google app stores, and Amazon went so far as to remove it from its servers.
After the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, media and social media alike assumed that it was on Parler that the events of that day were planned, and the deletion of the app founded to create a free speech space began. It was later revealed that the bad actors made their plans primarily on Facebook.
Parler came back. It was allowed back on Apple's app store, and it turned out that far from being a haven for violent speech, it had been reporting dangerous content to the FBI well before the Capitol riot.
Once Parler was back online and trending on Twitter, MSNBC's Joy Reid called out those who use the platform as extreme "right wingers," calling out one user for saying "we are at war with the world and our own government."
But Candace Owens shot back at read, noting that Parler is a platform where people go when the mainstream media lies about former president Donald Trump. Owens noted that Reid wants it both ways: she wants conservatives off of Twitter and Facebook, and off of Parler. Reid, it seems, wants conservatives to be nowhere at all.
Others agreed with Reid that Parler shouldn't exist.
Most of the shares from accounts that spoke against Parler used one post that they found distasteful. While the concept of hanging elected leaders is unpalatable in a free nation, it was par for the course among the left during the Trump administration. Over and over, for four years, the American public was treated to cries from the mainstream media and Democrats that Trump should face some kind of physical harm.
This hasn't stopped since he left office. Democrats undertook to impeach Trump though he was no longer in office, and were glad when he and his supporters were silenced on social media platforms.
Owens advised everyone on Twitter to make a Parler account of their own.
Parler is having a rocky start coming back online, but once it gets the kinks out, perhaps it will be able to take back up the helm of protecting and facilitating free speech online.