Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Parler, the MAGA sect's new favorite social media app, is a nightmare

Illustration for article titled Parler, the MAGA sects new favorite social media app, is a nightmare
Photo: Sean Rayford (Getty Images)

Trump-loving Republicans who decry “safe spaces” are rallying their followers to join them on Parler, a “non-biased free speech driven entity” where no meanies will yell at them for saying looters should be shot. This isn’t the first time the MAGA sect’s sought to abandon Twitter—there was Gab, for example, which was almost immediately overrun with white supremacists. And Parler, too, was bandied about in recent years as a mecca for “silenced” conservatives, though, unfortunately for us, that migration didn’t stick.

Advertisement

The movement’s got a bit more heft behind it now, what with Twitter actually doing something about the blatant lies and calls to violence spewed by our president. Senator Ted Cruz, for example, shared a video to his Twitter account yesterday in which he praised Parler (pronouncing it “parlor,” not “par-lay,” as intended) for “getting what free speech is all about.” (Although a new OneZero report on its guidelines finds its rules to be not all that different from Twitter’s, helping solidify the fact that Trump supporters really just want to maintain the illusion that they’re being repressed. As studies have shown, conservative content continues to thrive on social media.)

Advertisement

Cruz is joined in his enthusiasm for Parler by Capitol Hill colleagues like Rand Paul, Devin Nunes, and Matt Gaetz, as well as Eric Trump and de-platformed grifters like Jacob Wohl and the “liberal” Krassenstein Brothers, who were also booted from Twitter last year.

The discourse is about what you’d expect.

Advertisement

As are the suggestions of who to follow:

Illustration for article titled Parler, the MAGA sects new favorite social media app, is a nightmare
Screenshot: Parler
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Parler, the MAGA sects new favorite social media app, is a nightmare
Screenshot: Parler

Promoted news sources include noted fake news purveyors The Epoch Times and Zero Hedge, and a cursory search of the #Twexit hashtag—a means to celebrate users’ mass migration from Twitter—almost instantly confronted us with racist George Floyd memes and QAnon babble.

Advertisement

Needless to say, we didn’t last long on the app, but if you’re interested in some concrete instances of what horrors lie therein, The Bulwark’s got a stomach-churning, in-depth breakdown of the racism and anti-semitism that’s already flooding it.

As The Bulwark puts it:

This looks like a grotesque hellscape of racist incels who have the emotional maturity of 13-year-old brats at a segregated boys’ prep school. And it reveals that the problem going forward for conservatives is deeper than just Donald Trump. Parler and the fanciful rage that supports it are symptomatic of a party and a movement that are overrun by grifters and intellectually bereft trolls championing constitutional illiteracy.

But for Ted and Rand and Devin, this is just what a web free from evil cEnSoRs looks like.

Advertisement

So, might we recommend bypassing the app entirely and reading some iTunes reviews of it instead? As noticed by Twitter user Stefan Heck, many reviewers are decrying the “tyranny” of having to use a “special character” in their password. A fine summation of the temperament of your usual Parler user, that.

Advertisement

We’d direct these folks to Botnet, a bot-filled social media app where everyone loves you and agrees with you. And isn’t that really what we’re all looking for?

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com

Advertisement

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter