Parler, the newest social media platform was already accruing some popularity ever since the pandemic started, but now seems to be shooting for the stars. In the run-up to the Presidential Elections of 2020, this platform shot straight to the charts of both Apple Store, and Google Play store. LinkedIn claims that this social media app was created by John Matze- a software engineer from Nevada back in 2018. Interestingly, the entire platform has the backing of Robert Mercer’s daughter, Rebekah Mercer. While it might raise a few eyebrows that Rober Mercer was previously a major supporter of Donald Trump back in 2016, his daughter vehemently denied his role in this venture.
Why Is Parler Gaining Mainstream Popularity?
In a statement, Rebekah Mercer wrote about how she and John had initiated Parler in order to give everyone a platform for free speech. This social media platform would also give everyone a safe space where their data would be safe from privacy. Parler would be a beacon for everyone that was trying to overcome the demands put forward by tech giants who continued to mine data and curb free speech. Rebekah Mercer’s speech was, to be honest, quite motivating- something which probably led to the major demands that this app garnered.
There have been several well-known conservatives who have started making their profiles on Parler. This includes Sean Hannity, Ivanka Trump, and Ted Cruz. The most popular hashtags have been ‘Maga 2020’, and ‘Stop the Cheat’. Now, while it may seem that only conservatives seem to be joining this platform, it is not so. Several common citizens have found their neighbors jumping on to this platform. News of being censored and monitored had been going on in other social media platforms for ages- and this seemed to provide the free space that they so needed.
The only thing about Parler that has enticed millions to use this app is the promise that anyone can speak their mind. The pledge that Parler adheres to is to never share the personal data or information of any user to third-party buyers. Dottie Laster, a grandmother, mentioned that she definitely did feel more comfortable with the knowledge that a social media platform was finally not being monitored. This gave everyone an iota of safe space, where they could voice their opinions.
What Is the Catch With Parler?
Yet, Lindita Camaj, the Director of Graduate Studies at the Houston University’s School of Communication believes that this entire social media platform is simply an echo chamber. She argues that since there is no one on Parler to vet or cite sources, it is very easy for people to put out any misinformation that they read. What Parler has been failing to do is providing a space for diverse opinions to come aboard.
She also thinks that the rise of Parler is quite suspicious- given it gained massive popularity around the same time other platforms were trying to curb misinformation. She believes this social media platform is an entire setup or an outcry by the Right Wing ideology.