Extremism

Parler Users Prepare for Site Shutdown with Conspiracy Theories, Threats

  • January 10, 2021
parler

Screenshot of Parler logo as the site struggles to load during Sunday’s heavy traffic

Parler, the social media site frequented and promoted by a range of conservatives and right-wing extremists, is expected to be taken offline Sunday night, after Amazon Web Services announced the platform had violated its terms of service. This follows news that Apple app store and Google Play had suspended Parler.

Ahead of the shutdown, Trump surrogates and a range of extremists spent Sunday making the most of the platform, filling their Parler feeds with reactions and plans.

Many users express anger at Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos, vowing to boycott the company. One user asked others to “echo” his post “if you want to kill Jeff Bezos,” and BuzzFeedNews discovered a Parler discussion about blowing up AWS data centers.

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A QAnon user advised followers, “This is your chance to #walkaway.” This comment was followed by a to do list that included “Buy guns” and “Buy ammo.”

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Others capitalized on the platform’s waning hours to direct followers to their additional social media accounts and encouraging others to join them on alternative platforms such as Telegram, CloutHub and GAB.

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parler

Some users issued calls for violence and armed protests at state capitols. One user posted on Sunday morning, “…there’s 70 + million of us that are ready take up arms and fix this bitch rightnow!! Let’s get this on the sooner we finish this war the better. It’s going to be bloody and very uncomfortable but it must me done or this country is lost!” An hour later he wrote, “The only peaceful transition the Democrats deserve is The Sound of Silence Six Feet Under!” Another wrote, “I’m getting nervous in a good way. I can’t wait to rid the world of these bad people!!”

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Multiple Parler users promoted conspiracies related to Apple, speculating that iPhone updates would not only remove the Parler app from phones, but would also disable the use of the Emergency Broadcast System in an attempt to prevent Trump from addressing the public.

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Finally, some used the opportunity to peddle antisemitism. One user wrote, “I wasn't that interested in getting parler, but it seems there's a new headline about jews being mad at it every time I open my phone. So here I am lol.”  Another posted, “Watching those contemptuous, kosher certified cretins who run #Congress huddle on the floor in fear was beautiful!”

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parler

 

Extremism