Parler, which describes itself as a “free speech social network,” has reportedly began banning America First conservatives and Democrats, despite their supposed anti-censorship mission statement.
Founded in 2018, Parler bills itself as a “non-biased, free speech driven entity,” with their goal being to “offer the world a platform that protects user’s rights, supports publishers and builds online communities”:
Parler aims to empower users to control their social experience. Users can be responsible to engage content as they see fit. We are not regulators. We are not governors. We are a community. Parler accepts your right to express your thoughts, opinions and ideals online. Just like in society, Parler interactions are subject to guidelines; and when you respect them, you are free to participate wholly.
In an interview on Thursday, Parler’s founder, John Matze Jr, said that Parler is “a community town square, an open town square, with no censorship,” and that “if you can say it on the street of New York, you can say it on Parler.” Matze also called for liberals to join the platform, offering any liberal commentator with over 50,000 followers $20,000 to set up a Parler account.
However, their actions over the weekend have suggested the site isn’t so pro-free speech as they put out. A number of leftists, Democrat, and America First commentators:
Well I got banned from Parler
— Thor Benson (@thor_benson) June 27, 2020
Pretty much all of my leftist friends joined Parler to screw with MAGA folks, and every last one of them was banned in less than 24 hours because conservatives truly love free speech.
— Respectable Lawyer (@RespectableLaw) June 26, 2020
— New Cool Guy Follow Back (@CoolHeteroGuy) June 28, 2020
Beardson Beardly, an America First streamer and Twitter personality, was one of those banned from Parler. He spoke exclusively to National File about his removal from the site, saying that Parler is simply another case of “free speech for me, but not for thee.”
“GOP Inc has managed to build a very effect safe space free from fun, comedy, humor, and criticism,” Beardson said. “I was banned from Parler faster than any Twitter account I’ve ever had, and at least with Twitter I knew why.”
Parler has also come under heavy criticism for their terms of service, which includes “a reverse 230 clause” that allows the site to bill users for any legal fees that may come as a result of their posts.
— nilay patel (@reckless) June 25, 2020
Other users have reportedly been banned for calling this out on Parler.
I was banned from Parler because I called them out on their sketchy legal tactics: shoving legal fees onto users, requiring driver's license, and abusing pornography laws.
Truth is coming for you, Parler. And she's got a big stick named Karma. pic.twitter.com/M4tjbWGg2S
— Belet-Seri (@belet_seri) June 27, 2020
They deleted my question about their TOS pic.twitter.com/X6o5ExvnPt
— Jack Murphy 🇺🇸 (@jackmurphylive) June 29, 2020