Free speech is a marketing strategy
Parler is the ‘free speech alternative to Twitter’ that has been embraced by sections of the right-wing in the US and UK. But is it actually any more 'pro-free-speech’ than Twitter is?
On Friday we predicted that just like every other social media platform out there, the new favorite among people who falsely say that Twitter is censoring conservatives, would start taking down content and shutting down accounts
just like everyone else. Because, if you run any sort of platform that allows 3rd party speech, sooner or later you discover you have
to do that. In Friday’s post, we highlighted Parler’s terms of service, which certainly allows for it to take down any content for any reason (we also mocked their “quick read on Wikipedia” style understanding of the 1st Amendment).
What we did not expect was that Parler would prove us right so damn quickly. Over the weekend, Parler was apparently busy taking down accounts
Yes, it turns out that every online community needs moderation, and if you leave up everything that everyone posts, you end up with a really poor-quality user experience. And that’s before you factor in the moderation required to get rid of illegal content.
Yes, Parler isn’t some free speech heaven, it is merely Twitter with a different marketing strategy. I don’t think this is a bad thing; more direct competition for Twitter would probably be a good thing.
But if those people banned from Twitter for bad behaviour genuinely believe it was because Twitter 'censors conservatives,’ they might end up eventually finding themselves banned from Parler and realising it was their conduct, and not the platform — or even their own conservative worldview — that was the real problem.