Social media is, generally, a mess these days. Clashes between people of varying ideologies are rampant, misinformation is everywhere, and many sites seem either unwilling to regulate things or are simply overwhelmed by problems. But even conservatives seeking the freedom of expression on the budding right-wing network Parler aren’t having the best time chatting with their Trump-loving pals.
Parler has courted conservatives for years touting the ability to say anything — yes even the racist and sexist stuff — and some minor conservative celebrities have made a big deal about their exit from more mainstream social media sites to cut it up on Parler. It’s caused the site to get trolled by non-conservatives in a number of ways, but apparently that’s not the only problem people are having with the site.
According to OneZero’s Sarah Emerson on Medium, thousands of people joined groups named things like “Parler Invite Group” and “Who is moving to Parler” in order to share new usernames with the hopes of escaping platforms where they felt they were being censored. The movement picked up some momentum after the November election, where conspiracy theorists gathered together to invent ways they felt the election was stolen from Donald Trump.
But not everything is going well in the wonderland of “all takes matter.” As the story lays out, a lot of people are complaining that their posts aren’t getting the kind of exposure they can on other, more popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. And some less tech-savvy users aren’t even sure how to log in and exercise their First Amendment rights to push their grandchildren away with hot takes:
“I’ve talked to so many that can’t even figure out how to get on it,” another member posted. “They’re still on FB thinking they’re on Parler.”
“Can anybody help with this exasperating problem I’m having?! I can’t join the website at all because of the captcha loop at the beginning,” someone else wrote in the “Who is moving to Parler” group. The group is public and has nearly 5,000 members.”
Parler is also having some issues with security procedures it has in place, such as an apparent rule that you must verify your account by sending the company an official form of identification before you can send direct messages to contacts. That idea hasn’t sat well with some of those free speech mavericks who don’t want the company to have records of who they are.
And then there’s the main problem with an echo chamber social media site seeking to corner the market on a certain kind of fringe conservative: there aren’t a whole lot of people to talk to and, unlike Facebook, other less-radicalized members of society aren’t there to comment angrily on your posts:
According to one Facebook group member: “What’s the point of just seeing posts from conservative newsgroups, but not my friends or family? I’m just not sure about staying with it.”
The easy solution in all of this is obvious: just log off. But no, that simply won’t do here. The posting must continue unabated.
(Via One Zero on Medium)