Parler (Sort Of) Back Online, And Other News About The Absolute Worst Parts Of The Internet
After being offline for several days, Parler, the premiere social media destination for Nazis, Proud Boys and QAnon dopes, once again has a front page. It does not have anything else. Just a front page with a "Parley" from CEO John Matze reading "Is this thing on?" and a message for all of their "lovers and haters."
Now seems like the right time to remind you all — both lovers and haters — why we started this platform. We believe privacy is paramount and free speech essential, especially on social media. Our aim has always been to provide a nonpartisan public square where individuals can enjoy and exercise their rights to both.
We will resolve any challenge before us and plan to welcome all of you back soon. We will not let civil discourse perish!
Truly, there is nothing more important than civil discourse while planning a second Civil War.
To be clear, the reason Parler was kicked off of its previous servers had nothing to do with providing "a nonpartisan public square where individuals can enjoy and exercise" their right to free speech. Heck, it didn't really have anything to do with the fact that the speech they were exercising was bigoted hate speech or conspiracy-laden hate speech. People were planning crimes on there and also recruiting and encouraging others to do crimes with them, and then going through with those crimes — sort of like a modern day Mary Surratt's Boarding House — and the site had no interest in doing any kind of moderation to prevent that in the future.
What kind of morons plan their crimes in the "public square," anyway?
Parler is, however, hoping to get back online using servers hosted by Epik, Inc., which also hosts Gab (the other premiere social network for Nazis, Proud Boys and QAnon dopes) and the dot win message boards like TheDonald.win and GreatAwakening.win. Basically they are fugazi subreddits for subreddits that got kicked off of Reddit. They look and function exactly the same, except they don't have to worry about following Reddit's rules.
But they may soon have to start following some other rules. Robert Davis, senior vice president of Epik Inc., told the Wall Street Journal that TheDonald.win may be on its way out if it doesn't get its act together and stop inciting hate and violence. That will be difficult, of course, given that inciting hate and violence is pretty much what happens on TheDonald.win. Like Parler, TheDonald.win was a major hub of organizing for the attempted coup on January 6th of this year.
"They need to recognize the critical role they play as an inspirational place rather than a hotbed of extremism," Mr. Davis said. "Epik has no tolerance for anything that incites hate or violence." If the site didn't fix the problem speedily, he added, "they're gone from Epik and it will be hard for them to get service anywhere." [...]
The owner of the domain TheDonald.Win, Jody Williams, said he has been trying for months to purge a surging tide of violent, racist and anti-Semitic postings, an effort he said has triggered multiple daily death threats from censored posters against him and his family. Mr. Williams said a small cluster of the site's most powerful moderators—including one who controls its code—have thwarted his efforts to rein in such content even as it grew over the last 10 months.
Such nice people, really.
It is perhaps more surprising that GreatAwakening.win, the QAnon message board, is not also being considered for removal, given the hateful, violence-inciting content that's so common in QAnon circles. You know, when they're not speculating on whether or not the Deep State ate Kurt Cobain's body after his suicide, with the help of the notably-in-cahoots Courtney Love and Dave Grohl.
In other social media news, QAnon Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene was suspended for 12 hours from Twitter on Sunday for multiple violations of their "civil integrity policy," which basically just means she was lying about the election being stolen from Donald Trump.
We have rules about elections in real life — for instance, people have to be a certain distance away from a polling place in order to promote their candidate — and we have rules about plotting crimes in real life. Quite frankly, if you stand in the middle of a "public square" screaming racial slurs, you will almost definitely be asked to leave. Or punched in the face. One of the two, probably the latter. This is why even servers and sites that try to be all "Hey! Come here and say anything you want! The water's fine!" still end up banning people or getting shut down. Duh.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse