Hello and welcome back! Since their thankfully-failed attack on the Capitol Building last week, America’s conservative-wingnut traitors have been getting tossed out of one social media platform after another. Slowly, all of their options are slamming shut in their faces! Today, Lord Snow Presides over the trouble traitors are having lately in finding a new digital home.
Everyone, Meet Parler. It Was a Social Media Site.
Parler was a sort of cut-rate Twitter clone that launched in 2018. Very quickly, it became the home of far-right, alt-right conspiracy nutjobs — including QAnon. After things calmed down after the Capitol attack, authorities learned that quite a bit of the attack’s organization had occurred on social media. Parler was only one of those platforms, but it was a favorite of those select fans of the sport of sedition.
From the start, its users hailed Parler as a glorious bastion of free speech. However, it was nothing of the sort. In reality, its owner’s rules were considerably more restrictive than Twitter’s or even the FCC’s.
But that fussy inconsistency was okay with its fans. After all, these were exactly the kind of people who can openly plot coups against their government while also getting their knickers completely twisted into knots over someone dropping an F-bomb. Whoever they were, the site’s owners (most refused to identify themselves) actually moderated the heck out of discussions there.
Parler had a few weird quirks that were obvious from the outset — and a few that we’ve only recently discovered. For one, users had to send proof of their identity to the site’s moderators in order to use the full capacities of the site. For another, it didn’t really have much of a search function — you could search by usernames and hashtags, and that’s about it.
So Parler had some quirks, to be sure. But by far its worst problem was its userbase.
I’m using the past tense in describing it for a reason, by the way.
Parler’s Loss and Humanity’s Gain.
After the Capitol attack, authorities’ attention focused on Parler. That attention only seemed to intensify once people realized that traitors seeking a new digital home had begun flocking to the social media site in the wake of Twitter’s late-but-at-least-it-happened crackdown on Donald Trump.
And all of a sudden, Parler’s host, Amazon, decided it didn’t want to be associated further with a bunch of domestic terrorists. Around that same time, Google and Apple yanked Parler’s mobile app from their software stores.
So now Parler couldn’t be downloaded from the major cell phone software destinations. Even if someone got ahold of the app through some other means, without a host there wasn’t much such a person could do with it.
In response to losing their hosting, Parler is apparently trying to sue Amazon. The story about it also mentions that pretty much everyone has “ditched” Parler — from Amazon to texting services to their own lawyers.
Ouch. That story ends with this bit from a Parler user who realized that his social media home was closing shop:
“Well this is the end,” wrote one user, who proclaimed his support for the American Nazi Party.
Club Penguin’s closure looked a lot different, I’ll just say that.
(Potentially interesting note: The Southern Baptist Convention also uses Amazon’s hosting service, I’ve noticed. They haven’t done anything overtly illegal, and so Amazon hasn’t done anything to them. See how that works, Parler refugees?)
Where Oh Where Shall Traitors Rest Their Weary Heads?
Twitter’s already made clear that they won’t be allowing users to post the Y’all Qaeda’s preferred flavor of messages. After all, they’d already suspended the account of the traitors’ Orange Calf Idol, Donald Trump. Facebook, long the province of older fundagelicals wanting to virtue-signal, banned Trump as well, and they’ve been trying to crack down on the false conspiracy theories that are his followers’ bread and butter.
I’d tell ’em go bother Voat, a Reddit clone specifically begun to host exactly these kinds of people, but Voat looks like it went belly-up around Christmas. (Their closure isn’t related to the insurrection attempt; they just ran out of money, from what I can tell.) My favorite Reddit post on the closure runs simply:
Voat shuts down. Everyone ask: “Wait did I have an account there?”
At least wingnuts still have Gab. But Gab’s had its own problems staying alive. They’ve gone to a decentralized model for their social-media service after getting deplatformed early on, but it’s hard to imagine them really getting that big compared to Twitter. Wingnuts can also go with Mastodon, but it’s even less popular.
Gossip site Kiwi Farms even closed registration last week because they don’t want these nutjobs either. They just want to shitpost.
Gosh, what’s a traitor to do?
A lot depends, in these conspiracy-theory communities, on Dear Leaders having constant access to their followers. Cutting off that access may go a long way to trimming back the power that these leaders have — and what damage they can wreak.
In turn, of course, conservative wingnuts are now decrying social media in general as a new tribal enemy. Those meanipies at the gubmint/Amazon/whatever won’t let them have FREEZE PEACH, y’all!
But that’s not what’s happening.
Amazon is not the government, and it does have the right to decide who it will and won’t serve. They’re not kicking wingnuts off their servers just for being wingnuts, though I guarantee you that’s exactly what those wingnuts will claim, just as they have claimed for years regarding every single slap they’ve ever gotten for their illegal behavior: They were JUS’ BEIN’ KRISCHIN! Dis is perseKYUshun! Persecution, I tells ya!
Right-wing Christians respond very strongly to language like that. Their leaders have ensured that response. Almost none of them actually think through what they’re demanding.
Nor do they notice that their focus on human rights begins and ends with their own personal desires to hurt and control others.
Social Media Access and Human Rights.
I take Americans’ right to free speech very seriously.
We should, indeed, support free speech — until the point it crosses into illegal activity. At the same time, we must demand that private companies not cross into discriminatory behavior when denying service to customers. A company may not like the affiliation of customers coming to them and may not agree with those customers’ ideology or beliefs, and yet I still want them to focus on the transaction at hand — until that person does something that crosses the line.
It doesn’t look like these social media services have done anything illegal or, really, objectionable.
Instead, various businesses realized that domestic terrorists were organizing attacks on our government through their services, and so they began closing those customers’ accounts. The customers losing access were doing stuff that’s illegal, and so they don’t get to use those services anymore.
For people who triumphantly shouted “F*CK YOUR FEELINGS” to their enemies during their idol Trump’s campaigns, gosh, these wingnuts sure get whiny and self-pitying when they get treated for their criminal behavior exactly as they want to treat law-abiding citizens simply for disagreeing with them and refusing to comply with their demands.
Today, Lord Snow Presides over the Trumpists who suddenly find themselves needing a new social media home — thanks to their own behavior. I guess all I can say in response is…
F*ck their feelings.
NEXT UP: A forced-birther group is trying very hard to distance itself from the Traitor-in-Chief — after helping their followers develop the mob mentality that led to the insurrection attempt! But Donald Trump does, in fact, represent them perfectly. We’ll see why tomorrow.
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About Lord Snow Presides (LSP)
Lord Snow Presides is our off-topic weekly chat series. Lord Snow was my very sweet white cat. He actually knew quite a bit. Though he’s passed on, he now presides over a suggested topic for the day. Of course, please feel free to chime in with anything on your mind. We especially welcome pet pictures!
A Last Thought: The beauty of that “Trump 2020: F*ck Your Feelings” notebook I linked earlier is that really, its sentiment could go either way. Once Trump lost that election, suddenly it could just as easily be purchased by a Democrat and used with a knowing smile. I have to admire whoever wrote its copy on Amazon for pushing hard on that interpretation.
(A note regarding my terminology and language: I am not a lawyer, not even on TV. The terms I use here, as in every post, are not to be construed as formal legal accusations. My writing reflects my opinion and nothing more. May every person involved in Wednesday’s insurrection attempt face their fair day in court.)