The free speech social media site Parler has blossomed into a mecca for conservatives, especially, especially in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential loss. One problem, though: The service’s moderation is so limited that it’s in danger of being overrun by pornography. A new report by The Washington Post says that it’s in danger of becoming a “magnet for pornographers, escort services and online sex merchants,” which bait innocent users with hashtags like #keepamericasexy and #milfsfortrump2020.
In fact it was one such hashtag — namely #sexytrumpgirl — that shocked Parler users one recent night, when, the Post reports, “images of topless women and links to hardcore pornography websites appeared at a rapid-fire rate, often more than one per minute.” One minute a Trump fan could be ranting about disproven voter fraud, the next they could be sold, let’s say, a Jared-themed dildo.
Pornography has had a hard time with social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, which ban sexually explicit images. Parler used to ban it, too, but they recently revised their rules to allow anything that’s legal — including sexually explicit images of adults. Users can find pornography if they seek it, but there is now an influx of merchants. And unlike Twitter, which prevents excessive rapid posting, Parler has no such ban, leading to the #sexytrumpgirl headache.
While Parler wants to keep their open-door policy — it’s why conservatives have been flocking there in the first place — they also, says a higher-up, “don’t want to be spammed with pornographic content.” Meanwhile a professor of computer science at University of California at Berkeley had a grim warning for the service. “When you say, ‘We don’t moderate content,’ you are inviting this content,” he said, adding, “My prediction is they will be overrun with this stuff.”
(Via The Washington Post)