Recent debates about freedom of speech and censorship among social media platforms have people considering using new platforms. After Twitter began adding frequent fact check labels to tweets from politicians and officials like Donald Trump, individuals have been begging the question, how much freedom of speech do we really have? Within the last week especially, downloads of an app called Parler, known for its free speech and non-biased agenda, have sky-rocketed. Whether or not it sticks around is still unknown, but either way, its popularity has many wondering what it is. 

What is Parler? 

While you may have never heard of this social media platform, it has actually been around since 2018. Based in Henderson, Nevada, Parler was created by founder John Matze as a place to “speak freely and express yourself openly, without fear of being ‘de-platformed’ for your views.” The word Parler comes from the French word meaning “to speak,” and was intended to be pronounced PAR-lay, but as it has become more popular in America, it has taken on the pronunciation of the English word “parlor.” The social media network can best be compared to Twitter in the way it allows you to create short worded posts and interact with others by “voting” or liking them.

Even with its anti-censorship stance, this platform does in fact have rules and restrictions, but as they say it is to “create a proper town square without people ruining it by violating it with speech not protected by the First Amendment or FCC guidelines. Essentially, if you can’t say it in the streets of NYC you can’t say it on Parler. Some users have been banned for content such as this already. 

Pros and Cons

With so many people flocking to the new app, it is important to look at both the pros and the cons that the app has to offer. Parler still has a long way to go if it is going to be used by the masses and across a more broad political spectrum. One of the cons of so many right-wing supporters joining Parler is that it is easy to create an echo chamber within the dialogue of the app. Without a more diverse group of voices, it could just become a far-right version of Twitter. Another con, but a pro to some is that the sponsored posts are political. The CEO has said that the platform was not created to be a political network alone, but the bulk of its users are there to discuss and promote politics.  

The biggest pro to Parler, and its biggest draw, is the fact that the users’ speech is not completely silenced or fact-checked. However, there are still community guidelines and posts have been taken down and users banned if they do not follow those guidelines. Its verification feature is a pro to many as it allows you to avoid trolls or spammers. Users can limit their conversations and commenters to only verified users or leave it open to anyone. 

These are just a few of the things the app offers, but there are many other pros and cons to Parler. 

What makes Parler different from other platforms? 

Parler prides itself on being different from other social media outlets because of its free speech agenda, but as far as tools and features, is it really that different? From what we have been able to see, there are many similarities between its competitor, Twitter. Parler doesn’t have many places to store pictures in albums as of now and is set up for users to post short messages like Twitter. Instead of posting a tweet, Parler users “Parley” and users can “vote” or like posts they see as well as leave comments. So if you are looking for another version of Facebook or Instagram, Parler may not be for you. 

While it may not be all that different than Twitter in design, it is still a new social media network with the potential to help you or your business grow and connect to an online community. You will probably keep hearing about this up and coming app and we will continue to monitor its progress and success as well. We hope this article has given you a better idea of what Parler is and whether or not this social media platform is for you! Let us know, what do you think about Parler? 

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