Cries of censorship as well as gloating posts could be seen online after the conservative-targeting social media platform Parler went offline early Monday, following US tech companies’ moves to block the network.
Following Apple and Google’s ban of the conservative social network from their web stores over the weekend, Amazon suspended Parler from web hosting services, saying that the platform has experienced “a steady increase in this violent content” in the wake of the riot at the US Capitol.
The shutdown caused quite the controversy, as the app was from the start marketed as lighter moderated equivalent to Twitter, promising to better uphold the virtues of ‘free speech.’
US conservatives have reacted to Parler going offline with immediate hostility. FOX’ Brian Kilmeade said that the development was “scary,” and host Maria Bartiromo called it a “devastating blow to free speech.”
Fox & Friends says it's "scary" that Parler was removed from Amazon, Google, and Apple (and their attorneys quit), with no mention that white supremacists used Parler to explicitly and publicly plan for violence at the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/OqyVCifoKm
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) January 11, 2021
Twitter users have called the shutdown an act of “censorship,” with some claiming it was part of a larger media “purge” of right-wing politics online.
The sinister purge of the right continues as Parler is shutdown. So it seems you’re only free to speak your mind if you’re a left wing liberal. That doesn’t seem like SOCIAL media to me? 🤷 Orwellian pic.twitter.com/NhMlWaGpKW
— Rod Bishop 💎 (@rodbishop15) January 11, 2021
If it can happen to Parler it can happen to any business.
— Dean Browning (@DeanBrowningPA) January 11, 2021
Is this the United States or communist China. Parler shut down. Censorship at its finest.
— Jodi Schad (@jodilynn1267) January 11, 2021
Some, however, cheered for Parler’s apparent demise, with one person joking that it forced “all the crazies back on Twitter.”
Bye Bye Parler
Boy it's nice & quiet
— Freds Defiant Dad Not From Brooklyn ↩️ (@UncleSnotty) January 11, 2021
Jeez, parler goes down and in a few days all the crazies are back on twitter making the "insurrection act" trend, because they are convinced Qanon has sources that say Trump signed it in secret and will just declare himself dictator.
— S1apSh0es (@S1apSh0es) January 11, 2021
A few users went as far as to commemorate Parler’s shutdown by making memes about it. Some tweeters offered US conservatives a tin can telephone as the censorship-proof equivalent to the app. Another person referenced the infamous clip of vice president-elect Kamala Harris congratulating her running mate Joe Biden on their election victory, saying, “We did it, Joe, we did it.”
— Alexander Crouton-Skitch (@AlexanderSkitch) January 11, 2021
How it started How it’s going pic.twitter.com/tBOwnWk0aQ
— Laurel Coons 🧬🧬🧬 (@LaurelCoons) January 11, 2021
amazon finally shut down parler’s servers last night pic.twitter.com/rHqzlpaR0C
— auntie histamine (@misssssnique) January 11, 2021
Despite the seeming finality of Parler going offline, its CEO, John Matze, previously said he was planning for the app to come back, noting, however, that the process would take “longer than expected,” as most of the platform’s vendors apparently decided to drop it, following the lead of Amazon, Apple and Google.
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