Right Flight: Twitter Censorship Sends 500K Users Looking for Alternative
Despite a significantly declining stock price, Twitter continued this week their crusade against free speech – particularly the kind of free speech that goes against the prevailing liberal narrative. By suppressing yet another tweet from President Donald Trump, banning pro-Trump meme-maker Carpe Donkum, and locking an account belonging to conservative editor Raheem Kassam, the site did everything but adopt the motto, “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” It would have been hard to make it any more clear: Twitter is no longer a home for conservatives.
Well, it seems that a lot of users got the message. An astounding 500,000 users signed up for Twitter-alternative Parler this week – a social media network that had, up until this week, a sum total of only a million users. That’s a 100% increase inside of just a few days, an amazing week for a site that’s been around for two years.
Parler prides itself on providing former Twitter users with a comfortable home where their opinions won’t be suppressed by leftist thought police, and several prominent conservatives sent out tweets this week asking their followers to make the switch. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) were among those extolling the virtues of the site.
“Parler gets what free speech is all about,” Cruz said in a video.
“I’m on @parler_app. Follow me now!” tweeted Gaetz. “Technology companies shouldn’t be able to put their thumb on the scale and reshape speech in our country. Features of the technology should apply equally to people regardless of viewpoint.”
Gaetz noted that he was all in favor of a site that would let people air their beliefs.
“The left wants to defund the actual police,” he said. “I would just like to defund the thought police in Silicon Valley.”
Seeing as how Twitter boasts more than 300 million users (many of which are, admittedly, bots), Parler will have a long way to go to be taken seriously as a competitor. Even so, the more Twitter sticks its nose into ideological waters, the better the chances that users will flee the site en masse. Once prominent conservatives join Parler and – this is important – also stop using Twitter, you may see a floodgate open.
There is a real hunger out there for social media websites that aren’t going to spend all of their time making sure you’re “on the right page” with your political opinions. And since that page gets smaller and crazier with every passing day, the demise of the current masters of the social media universe may not be as far in the future as you would guess.