Following Trump’s loss in the US presidential election, conservatives have begun flocking to Parler.
Supporters of US President Donald Trump have been migrating to the conservative Twitter alternative, Parler, in droves. An increased number of downloads following Trump’s loss in the 2020 US election have pushed Parler to the top of the charts in both the App Store and Google Play Store.
Everyone’s Talking About Parler
Parler describes itself as a “free speech social network” where you can “speak freely and express yourself openly, without fear of being ‘deplatformed’ for your views.” The overall interface of Parler closely resembles Twitter, but it’s geared towards a politically-conservative audience.
Twitter has repeatedly flagged President Trump’s Tweets for a myriad of violations, including Tweeting false claims of a presidential victory, spreading misinformation about COVID-19, and even for potentially dissuading voters. Trump supporters were obviously not happy about Twitter’s responses to President Trump’s Tweets, which likely helped sparked the exodus to Parler.
Trump supporters were also frustrated with Facebook’s handling of the Stop the Steal Facebook group, which challenged the results of the presidential election. Facebook quickly tore down the 300,000-member group, leading its members to establish a presence on Parler instead.
Following Trump’s loss in the presidential election, Parler saw a massive increase in downloads. Just before Biden declared victory, Parler had a modest ranking of only #1,023 on the App Store and #486 on the Google Play Store.
Since then, the number of downloads has skyrocketed. Parler jumped all the way to the #1 spot on both the Google Play Store and App Store. Parler was released in 2018, and is now quickly becoming the go-to spot for conservatives and Trump supporters.
Conservatives have criticized Facebook and Twitter for allegedly censoring right-wing content posted by President Trump and his supporters. Maria Bartiromo, a host on the conservative Fox News network, has already gained over 700,000 followers on Parler.
On Twitter, Bartiromo urged her followers to join Parler after Twitter flagged one of her Tweets.
Other prominent conservatives have followed suit; Devin Nunes, Sean Hannity, and Ted Cruz have also established a following on the platform.
Does This Signal a Possible Twitter Takeover?
Parler’s immense growth over such a short period of time should have Twitter a bit concerned. After all, social networks usually take a while to gain traction.
While Parler may not take over the social media giants that are Twitter and Facebook, it still may force both platforms to reevaluate their handling of potential misinformation. The migration to Parler may be more of a statement than anything else, but will Twitter and Facebook get the message?
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