The Parler Bans Open a New Front in the 'Free Speech' Wars

www.wired.com
3 min read
fairly difficult
Apple, Google, and Amazon booted the site from their own platforms. But who moderates the moderators?
This was supposed to be Parler's time to shine.

Launched in 2018, the social media platform billed itself as a free-speech paradise, a haven for conservative users who believe Big Tech is out to silence them. Given that posture, Trump getting kicked off Facebook and Twitter last week after inciting a deadly riot at the US Capitol was incredible free publicity. What better proof that the fix was in against conservatives than shutting down the president of the United States of America? (Set aside the fact that Trump would likely have been banned long ago if he weren't the president.) Conservative influencers like Dan Bongino encouraged their fans to ditch Twitter and follow them to Parler. (Bongino has an ownership stake in the company.) Even as reports swirled that the platform had played a role in fomenting last week's assault on the Capitol, Parler surged to become the top free app in Apple's App Store. One had to wonder: Could it turn into a durable conservative alternative to the dominant platforms? Only time would tell.

Wait, scratch that—Big Tech told, and the answer was no. Over the weekend, Apple and Google told Parler that they were banning its mobile app from…
Gilad Edelman
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