Social Media Website Parler Claims to Be a Beacon for Free Speech

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That Simply Is Not True , The Sheep People Will Figure This Out When They Shadow Banned or Removed Those Accounts They Do Not Agree With, They Are Hypocrites of the Worst Kind..

 Parler Is Banning Users It Doesn’t Like

There’s a lot more as well. Parler seems to be banning a bunch of people. And it has the right to do so. Which is great. But what’s not great is the site continues to pretend that it’s some “free speech alternative” to Twitter when it’s facing the same exact content moderation issues. And, yes, some people are claiming that Parler’s quick trigger finger is mostly about shutting down “left” leaning accounts, but as with Twitter’s content moderation, I won’t say that for sure unless I see some actual evidence to support it.

HNewsWire Is not a left-wing website and they shut them down?

What I will say is that when politicians like Ted Cruz say he’s joining Parler because it doesn’t have “censorship,” he’s wrong. Same with basically every other foolish person screaming about how Parler is about “free speech.” It’s got the same content moderation questions every platform has. And it’s pretty silly for Parler’s CEO to refer to Twitter as a “techno-fascist” company for its content moderation policies, when his company appears to be doing basically the same thing. Amusingly, the CEO is also claiming that “If you can say it on the street of New York, you can say it on Parler. Except that later in that same article, he admits: “You can’t spam people’s comment sections with unrelated content.” Except, you kinda can do that on the “street of New York.” (I recall there being more than one street in New York, but whatever). Anyway, this was always bogus, as you can see from the fact that so many accounts are being banned.

As I’ve said before: I think competition is good. And, personally, I’d prefer there to be many more competitors (though, I wish they were interoperable implementations of a protocol, rather than individual silos, but…). So, I have nothing against Parler existing. In fact, I think it’s an excellent demonstration of why the concerns about “dominance” by Twitter or other platforms is silly. It’s possible to create alternatives, and Parler has shown that it’s able to attract a bunch of users. At least for now.

But what no one should do, is think that Parler is somehow any more “pro-free speech” than Twitter is, or that it doesn’t pull down content and accounts. Because it does.

Hello,

I can send you over to our support team to help you with that. As for your $10 refund, do you want to leave it on your account or a check. If check, I need your address.

Thank you,

Parler Team


Parler  | Payments

@Parler

payments@parler.com

PARLER.COM

From: Stevieray Hansen <stevierayhansen@outlook.com>
Date: Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 7:18 PM
To: Payments <payments@parler.com>
Subject: Re: Parler Refund

Well first off for some reason I’m blocked out of your platform? I’ve tried repeatedly to login, I’ve sent you my driver’s license front and back my passport and still no response from your organization, the least you could have done is to got me logged back in, but that never happened, what’s your solution?…

Sent from Outlook Mobile

Email Sent 12/5/2020

You people have trouble with the truth, don’t contact me anymore you’re not a free speech platform, you are anti-Christian, I will continue to shine a light on your dark platform.

By the way keep the $10 you’re going to need it, StevieRay Hansen

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Parler-1.jpg
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Like Gab before it, the hot new Twitter-wannabe service for Pharisees and trolls kicked off of Twitter is Parler. The President and a bunch of his supporters have hyped it up, and the latest is that Senator Ted Cruz (and Rep. Devin Nunes) have recently joined it, and like others before them they have hyped up the misleading claim that Parler supports free speech unlike Twitter. Cruz — who has been spewing blatantly false information about “anti-conservative bias” on various internet platforms — even announced his move to Parler… on Twitter, which does not seem to be moderating him at all. Cruz’s overwrought speech is full of nonsense that has come to typify his pathetic attempt to win fans among Trump’s base.

But, I did want to take a closer look at the claims that Parler supports free speech, because it does so in basically the same way every other platform — including the way Twitter, Youtube and Facebook do: by saying that they can remove your content for any reason they want. Their user agreement includes this:

Parler may remove any content and terminate your access to the Services at any time and for any reason or no reason, although Parler endeavors to allow all free speech that is lawful and does not infringe the legal rights of others. Any invitation made by Parler to you to use the Services or submit content to the Services, or the fact that Parler may receive a benefit from your use of the Services or provision of content to the Services, will not obligate Parler to maintain any content or maintain your access to the Services. Parler will have no liability to you for removing any content, for terminating your access to the Services, or for modifying or terminating the Services, at any time and in any way and for any reason or no reason. Although the Parler Guidelines provide guidance to you regarding content that is not appropriate, Parler is free to remove content and terminate your access to the Services even where the Guidelines have been followed.

Parler should be thankful that it has Section 230 of the CDA to make that possible. And it should probably be ticked off at Cruz, who has been among those threatening to revoke Section 230.

My favorite line is the last one, which says that it can remove content or terminate your account even where you have followed its Guidelines.

Under various proposals to reform Section 230, this would go against the law, but Parler is actually doing the right thing here. If you only limit your moderation powers to what is explicitly in your terms, then people will game those terms and cause problems on your platform. You need the flexibility to deal with bad actors — the flexibility that Section 230’s current structure provides.

And while Parler’s Community Guidelines are written in a manner that makes it look like they’re mimicking 1st Amendment jurisprudence, that’s a trick they’re playing, because the specifics do not match the reality. First, at the very top, they say that no spam is allowed:

Spam is repetitive content that does not contribute to the conversation. It often comes in the form of multiple posts of repeating content that offer little to no value to the community and platform at large.

And the guidelines tell users:

  • Avoid repetition in the comment section of posts. Spam applies more heavily to comments then posts.
  • Do not use language/visuals that are meant to take advantage of others on Parler.
  • Avoid language/visuals that solicits advertisements on other’s posts.

Of course, all of that is 1st Amendment protected speech.

Parler also bans sharing “rumors about other users/people you know are false.” And while they couch this as being the same as defamation, the legal standards for defamation go way beyond that. Banning “rumors about other users/people you know are false” will create judgment calls by Parler in determining what stands and what doesn’t.

In the section meant to mimic the Supreme Court’s (mostly obsolete) “fighting words” doctrine, Parler again says that plenty of 1st Amendment protected speech is barred from its platform.

Any direct and very personal insult with the intention of stirring and upsetting the recipient

Of course, intention is subjective, meaning again that Parler would need to make judgment calls.

Parler, like Gab before it, bans pornography, falsely claiming:

Pornography is considered indecent according to clauses defined by the FCC.

The FCC polices public airwaves, which come from publicly owned, but corporate-held, spectrum. The FCC’s determination of indecency has no bearing on the internet (and does have some 1st Amendment issues as well). Parler’s definition of porn is… really weird.

Printed text description, or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity. Porn must meet ALL the following conditions:

  • Porn does not require nudity
  • Can be an image, painting, art, or description
  • It must be morbid or degrading in nature (Prurient)

Of those “conditions” only the last one is actually a “condition.” If the others are conditions, does that mean if it does have nudity, it’s no longer porn?

There’s a lot more where this comes from, but almost all of it appears to be written by someone who did a Wikipedia search on exceptions to the 1st Amendment, but didn’t bother to talk to a 1st Amendment lawyer to understand what those exceptions actually meant.

Still, there is a larger point in all of this, which is something we’ve tried to explain to people over and over again. There is no such thing as not moderating content. First of all, some content moderation is required by law — especially things like child sexual abuse material and copyright infringement. Second, there are international issues that Parler will eventually need to deal with, even if it’s an American company. Already, some have pointed out how Parler’s user agreement might put users on the legal hook for international issues. Third, without content moderation, your site gets filled with junk, spam, and abuse. Even Parler seems to implicitly recognize this with its terms.

There have been plenty of sites that have sprung up over the years that first promise no moderation until they realize what that means in practice — and then suddenly they realize that some level of content moderation is a necessity. Now, Parler may take a more hands off approach than others, and that’s great. Different approaches and different levels of experimentation should be encouraged. But the idea that Parler is somehow taking a substantially different approach than a site like Twitter is nonsense.

On a related note, Parler’s sudden burst of attention and usage should serve to highlight another nonsense talking point from the world of Trump: that the existing large platforms (namely: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram) and their content moderation decisions are somehow a form of censorship or control of the “public square.” The great thing about the internet is that it’s still (mostly) open for other entrants to try to build a better mousetrap. So the idea that the other platforms need to be hit with regulations over their content moderation practices seems odd when Parler itself has demonstrated that it’s totally possible to build competitors.

Well, that did not take long at all. On Friday we predicted that just like every other social media platform out there, the new favorite among people who falsely say that Twitter is censoring conservatives, would start taking down content and shutting down accounts just like everyone else. Because, if you run any sort of platform that allows 3rd party speech, sooner or later you discover you have to do that. In Friday’s post, we highlighted Parler’s terms of service, which certainly allows for it to take down any content for any reason (we also mocked their “quick read on Wikipedia” style understanding of the 1st Amendment).

What we did not expect was that Parler would prove us right so damn quickly. Over the weekend, Parler was apparently busy taking down accounts.

This group is much like Fox News, convincing rhetoric that has no substance with regards to free speech on their platform. But people will have to find out for their selves, we live in perilous times and people will go to great links to convince the masses that they had the magic key, much like Fox News that fooled the American public, Parle will be exposed for the bias on there platform.

Social media website Parler said Saturday that its previously unknown investor is billionaire Rebekah Mercer, after speculation from some activists that the site was linked to Russia…

In a press release, Parler said Mercer is backing the site.

“Rebekah Mercer is a great friend, an American patriot, and most importantly committed to the Parler vision of neutrality and data privacy. We are grateful for her support since 2018, and her early faith in the founders has enabled us to reach these heights,” CEO John Matze said in a statement.

Mercer said she started Parler with Matze “to provide a neutral platform for free speech, as our founders intended, and also to create a social media environment that would protect data privacy.”

“Benjamin Franklin warned us: ‘Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.’ The ever increasing tyranny and hubris of our tech overlords demands that someone lead the fight against data mining, and for the protection of free speech online. That someone is Parler, a beacon to all who value their liberty, free speech, and personal privacy,” she added.

Mercer, 46, is the daughter of hedge fund manager Robert Mercer. The Mercer family has donated to a bevy of conservative companies and causes over the years.

Mercer “is widely known for her dedication to philanthropy and upholding American values,” Parler said.

Dan Bongino speaks onstage during Politicon 2018 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, Calif., on Oct. 21, 2018. (Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Politicon)

The unknown backing of Parler, which is partially owned by conservative radio host Dan Bongino, was subject to rampant speculation.

Dave Troy, co-curator of Tedx MidAtlantic and self-described disinformation specialist, claimed that the site was linked to Russia because Matze is married to a Russian national.

A screengrab that appeared to be from Fox News showing a chryon about Parler being backed by left-wing billionaire George Soros also circulated on social media. A Fox News spokeswoman confirmed to The Epoch Times that the screengrab was fake.

Parler bills itself as a free speech social media platform. According to its community guidelines, Parler acts against illegal content like child pornography but will not remove content or accounts “on the basis of the opinion expressed within the content at issue.”

“Parler’s policies are, to use a well-known concept in First Amendment law, viewpoint-neutral,” the guidelines state.

The number of accounts skyrocketed from about 4.5 million to 10 million in recent days.

Matze said the reason is people don’t trust big technology companies like Facebook and Twitter amid an escalation in censorship on those platforms.

“They’re really overreaching to an extent that’s scary, and people are really realizing this. They’re waking up and saying: we’ve got to do something about it,” Matze said.

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Source: HNewsWire ZeroHedge techdirt HNewsWire

StevieRay Hansen
Editor, HNewsWire.com
Watchmen does not confuse truth with consensus The Watchmen does not confuse God’s word with the word of those in power…

Truth is the first casualty of war.

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