OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
I don’t know about you, but my Facebook timeline is looking a little anemic, sparse, lifeless. I’ve got nothing but a big ole shoulder shrug for it.
This could be considered the second, larger, mass migration of conservatives from the social media platform following the exodus in May 2020. At that time, censorship of Coronavirus information was pushing people away. Users started signing up for Parler, an alternative to Twitter (It’s pronounced Par-lay apparently (*update below) . I didn’t know it was based on French; I was out here being a heathen and saying the ‘R’ in my head). But few were really dedicated to learning the new platform and waiting for the audience to arrive at that time.
The wait is over. Soccer moms are downloading their family photo albums and crockpot recipes from Facebook and moving over in clans. That’s not a racist statement. I’ve already been accused of being a “shallow clueless white conservative” so I want to make that clear. I’m black, but I will rock Kenny G’s holiday on repeat for two months straight, so call me what you will.
Parler is receiving backlash from liberals who say they signed on to troll the MAGA crowd only to be banned. They do not appreciate their first amendment rights being violated. They literally had the audacity to mention first amendment rights. I don’t have a private business deciding what they want to allow on their platform, but I have a problem with Facebook and Twitter saying they’re not biased and then only blocking information they don’t like. Some conservatives are warning against Parler, as some users have been asked to provide a phone number or copy of a driver’s license to send certain kinds of messages.
Founder John Matze says the format will prevent the venomous statements that people tend to make when they have anonymous online identities to hide behind. I do understand the accountability measures, but I also know conservatives like our privacy, so we’ll see how that goes. I have not yet been asked for any identifying information, either because I’m not using features that require it, or because I signed up before it was necessary. I still barely know how the damned app works, so I’m honestly not sure yet.
DuckDuckGo has long been my automatic search engine because Google is trash, and I look to NewsMax and OAN before Fox News which purports to have lost most of its viewers after calling Arizona for Biden (though, honestly, it might have started after Chis Wallace’s performance at the first debate). In my hometown, homeschooling has increased by 300%. I know this has a lot to do with Covid, but I’m starting to think conservatives are seeing their way out of any part of life where they have been made to feel unwelcome. Sayonara!
Feel free to make recommendations to me and other conservatives you know. We’re all looking for alternatives. And if you’ve got an idea brewing, now is a great time to launch something new! There’s a whole audience of like-minded individuals just waiting to support you.
*This article was published on November 11, 2020. On November 15, I was sent a link of the CEO of Parler discussing the app, and he in fact DID pronounce it Par-lor and not Par-lay. A parley is a discussion, discourse, or conversation. You tweet on Twitter, you parley on Parler. And now you’re smarter, you’re welcome!