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Parler Vindicated: Study Finds Facebook ‘Far and Away’ Most Used Social Media By Capitol Hill Rioters

Parler Vindicated: Study Finds Facebook ‘Far and Away’ Most Used Social Media By Capitol Hill Rioters

Parler was deplatformed for merely being suspected of this dubious distinction

The coordinated Big Tech deplatforming of Parler is looking more and more suspect. Last month, I reviewed every arrest report the DOJ had made available at that time, and the overwhelming number of social media posts cited in these reports were those posted on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. There was barely any mention of Parler.

Georgetown University’s Program on Extremism collated not just those arrest reports made available via the DOJ press releases but the more than 200 arrest reports otherwise available.

According to this assessment of DOJ arrest reports related to the events at the Capitol on January 6th, Facebook is the overwhelming “winner” in the violence-spreading, hate speech-permitting social media landscape. YouTube and Facebook-owned Instagram were close seconds and thirds.

Parler, purportedly shut down as the purveyor of right-wing extremist hate, lagged the other, more prominent (and well-protected) “insurrection” plotting social media tools.

In fact, Parler was so infrequently mentioned in the 200+ DOJ charging documents compiled by the Program on Extremism that it barely registered as a blip.

Forbes reports (archive link):

Just after the Capitol Hill riots on January 6, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook chief operating officer admitted the company’s ability to enforce its own rules was “never perfect.” About the shocking events of the day, she added: “I think these events were largely organized on platforms that don’t have our abilities to stop hate and don’t have our standards and don’t have our transparency,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook chief operating officer, shortly after the Capitol Hill riots on January 6.

Sandberg was later criticized for downplaying her employer’s role as a platform for the organizers of the siege. But Facebook was far and away the most cited social media site in charging documents the Justice Department  filed against members of the Capitol Hill mob, providing further evidence that Sandberg was, perhaps, mistaken in her claim. Facebook, however, claims that the documents show the social media company has been especially forthcoming in assisting law enforcement in investigating users who breached the Capitol.

Forbes reviewed data from the Program on Extremism at the George Washington University, which has collated a list of more than 200 charging documents filed in relation to the siege. In total, the charging documents refer to 223 individuals in the Capitol Hill riot investigation. Of those documents, 73 reference Facebook. That’s far more references than other social networks. YouTube was the second most-referenced on 24. Instagram, a Facebook-owned company, was next on 20. Parler, the app that pledged protection for free speech rights and garnered a large far-right userbase, was mentioned in just eight.

The Daily Caller has more:

Facebook was used by 73 of the people charged with crimes, more than all other social media sites combined, according to a Forbes analysis.

. . . . Alternative social media site Parler was banned from using Amazon’s online infrastructure in the wake of the riot due its alleged connection to the violence, but was only used by eight people charged, Forbes reported. Both Apple and Google removed Parler from their app stores.

Facebook is the DOJ-documented favored platform of the Capitol rioters thus far charged; they plotted there, they celebrated there, they bragged about their lunacy there.

Meanwhile, Parler was deplatformed for merely being suspected of this dubious distinction, but we all know that Facebook won’t get the same treatment.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the coordinated Big Tech effort to kill Parler was not in any way related to some noble goal of quelling right-wing violence and “insurrection” plotting. After all, the alleged violence and plotting were clearly conducted for the most part on the very Big Tech platforms that targeted and attempted to destroy Parler.

This is not only unconscionable and unjust, it’s unAmerican.


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Paul In Sweden | February 10, 2021 at 5:07 pm

Who are the 200 people that were arrested? What were they arrested for? How many of them caused damage or assaulted people? How many of them were previously arrested and bailed out by Kamala Harris et al? Where is the FBI report, and why is it not being referred to during the mock impeachment theatrics?

    I’d imagine because those investigations are still ongoing

      DaveGinOly in reply to mark311. | February 11, 2021 at 2:20 am

      I imagine that within five minutes of booking those people the police and FBI had their arrest histories in hand, and knew if they had been arrested at other protests and whether or not they were bailed following arrest, along with whether charges against them were dropped, are pending, or if they are on parole for similar offenses.

      This is all very basic police work of the sort that is immediately released to the media when a local hood is arrested for holding up convenience stores.

        mark311 in reply to DaveGinOly. | February 11, 2021 at 7:45 am

        Except that there is a huge amount of video to trawl through and they have to find them. Part of the issue is that many of the people who entered the building walked away afterwards. It’s a huge investigation. Maybe basic but time consuming.

    A few days ago a paper, I think USAToday listed 200 of the arrested. At that time arrests were for Interfering with law enforcement and Unlawful entry. No arrests for sedition or insurrection.

Time to deplatform twitface

Isn’t the issue that Parler refused to remove hate content at all? Sure Facebook and Twitter do a rubbish job of removing hate content but at least they do it (even if slow in cases).

    Dathurtz in reply to mark311. | February 10, 2021 at 6:23 pm

    No, the issue is that Parler provided a forum for discussion of forbidden things when our overlords were busy preventing those discussions.

    “Sure Facebook and Twitter do a rubbish job of removing hate content but at least they do it (even if slow in cases).”

    Seriously. ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, Pelosi, Biden*, Omar, AOC, and a legion of other leftists who routinely spew hate have yet to be banned by Twitter and Facebook. So much for “banning hate”.

    Then again – maybe you don’t have the slightest idea of what you are talking about.

    tmiker in reply to mark311. | February 10, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    There was some words to that effect in the media, but as the claim was contradicted by Parler’s Terms of Service the media/tech tyrants have moved on to alternative tales.

    DieJustAsHappy in reply to mark311. | February 10, 2021 at 6:55 pm

    As I recall, the presenting issue had to do with moderation. Parler resisted the bullying of the Big Techies about how it ought to moderate comments on its site. Also, recall there was a brewhaha on Twitter and a number of people did a Twitexit for Parler.

    As for the removal of “hate” from their platforms, the Big Techies are rather lopsided as pertains what it considers hate speech. Bottom line: They’re hypocrites.

    Burn_the_Witch in reply to mark311. | February 10, 2021 at 7:33 pm

    Maybe you might come across as a little more coherent if you provided a definition of “hate content”.

      Thats a fair question, how about speech that calls for violence or promotes violence. Probably could be defined better but a reasonable starting point.

        Burn_the_Witch in reply to mark311. | February 11, 2021 at 11:15 am

        So you’re talking about speech. Speech that incites violence is already well-defined and it is not called “hate speech”, and it is already illegal.

        Do you believe hate speech is a thing in the US? You don’t strike me as that ignorant, so that raises the question – do you think hate speech should be a thing?

          Oh indeed, but using that definition many users of Parler were clearly guilty of that type of behaviour or at minimum close to the line.

          In reference to your second point, I’m undecided. Europe and the UK have quite strong hate speech type laws and that has forced facebook etc to adopt a more rigorous approach to moderation. At the same time does it have a chilling effect? That’s an open question. I think it’s been relatively well balanced in the UK the cancel culture phenomenon hasn’t really translated into the UK.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to Burn_the_Witch. | February 11, 2021 at 10:06 am

      Marxist, Racist, LGBTQ are entitled to a free pass for any and all hate speech.

      The rest of us are expected to keep quiet, because even the slightest sound is hate speech.

    DaveGinOly in reply to mark311. | February 11, 2021 at 2:32 am

    Why do they do it at all? As platforms, they’re immune from responsibility for what users post. If what some people post is offensive to others, let those others mark the content as “offensive,” not to remove it, but to teach the algorithm to steer the offended party away from similar content. To the easily offended, it would be as if offensive content wasn’t on the platform at all. Problem solved.

    If anyone is posting illegal content, that’s a police matter. A case can be made against the criminal offender, and, eventually, a court can order the offender’s content removed from the platform. That’s how criminal behavior is handled in this country.

    But they don’t do it that way. Their intent isn’t to prevent users from being offended by the posts of other users. Their intent is to silence certain types of content.

      mark311 in reply to DaveGinOly. | February 11, 2021 at 7:36 am

      Well inciting violence is illegal isn’t it. Advocacy of a crime isn’t protected by the 1st amendment.

      There are plenty of examples of that on Parler prior to deplatforming

      mark311 in reply to DaveGinOly. | February 11, 2021 at 7:42 am

      I’m not convinced your remedy really works. That would be painfully slow, and the system would get inundated. I dread to think how many millions of posts would need some kind of criminal investigation in that scenario. Given the platform generates the content the platform bears some responsibility for ensuring the content is legal. It needs to dispense it’s duty of care.

      That’s why the rules of twitter and Facebook have evolved. Over time they have reacted to situations to ensure they don’t directly get held responsible. Parler on the other hand didn’t bother at all as far as I understand it.

        Brave Sir Robbin in reply to mark311. | February 11, 2021 at 12:24 pm

        “If what some people post is offensive to others, let those others mark the content as “offensive,” not to remove it, but to teach the algorithm to steer the offended party away from similar content. To the easily offended, it would be as if offensive content wasn’t on the platform at all. Problem solved”

        I find this to be an actual and rapid solution that would, indeed, help the tech companies further profile and gather data for sale on their various users. All the user has to do is to start hitting the up or down arrow, and the algorithm learns what you like, and what you dislike. Or you can set certain content filters for yourself. There is no creepy speech monitoring and censorship.

        As for illegal content, that is another matter, but why not ask users to refer content they believe to be illegal (not distasteful or offensive which they can self-filter). The technology company would take a passive role and respond to actual complaints of potential criminal activity, and leave its discretion as to what to do with actual criminal activity which is not to suppress it, but to alert law enforcement authorities, who may not want it suppressed while it is being investigated.

        They have the technical ability to do all this now. But instead of empowering their users, the seek to censor and control their thoughts and communications instead. This speaks volumes about what they are really about, which is fascist control of the people.

          Except offense is a really important part of discourse. Offence isn’t the issue speech that is inciting violence or promoting dangerous misinformation is. I absolutely think you should be able to offend. Hell I’ve probably insulted everyone here with my views.

          You are such a hack. “Promoting dangerous misinformation”? What does that even mean? As far as I can tell it means any speech that does not conform to the fascist left’s idea of correct think.

          You do know that this crazy “dangerous misinformation” thing is not only the latest fad attempt by the left to explain why conservatives can’t express their opinions, policy positions, worldview. All that misinformation must be stopped . . . not because it’s dangerous to democracy but because it’s dangerous to Democrats who cannot ever support their policy positions with logic and reason, who rely on fear and hate and division to keep their coallition in line.

          “Dangerous misinformation” is protected speech. Period. You and the rest of your Orwellian wrongthink police don’t like that, but it’s fact.

          If you doubt this, think about the world in which your viewpoint, your preferred policies, and your guiding principles are deemed by an ascendant right to be “dangerous misinformation” that fails to align with a preference for one American people instead of hate- and resentment-filled voting blocs who are divided by race, gender, class, education, sexual orientation, and etc.

          In that world, simply stating that people should be judged and hired and fired and allowed loans and federal aid on the basis of their race would be enough to get you cancelled. In that world, arguing that men who ‘identify’ as women are ‘women who don’t bleed” is considered serious and dangerous misinformation. In that world, you are a pariah, your firing, your loss of your ability to do business with anyone anywhere, including with any bank, is stopped because you are a dangerous purveyor of dangerous wrongthink that is “dangerous” to democracy. Or whatever.

          Can you do that simple mental exercise? If you can, how do you feel about being told that your crazy climate change crap is “dangerous misinformation” that costs your job, your home, your family. You may believe it, you may have research to back it up, but so sorry, Republicans are deciding what is “dangerous misinformation” now, and guess what, you’re it.

          Nice, right?

    Dignity required in reply to mark311. | February 11, 2021 at 4:31 am

    I bet you odds of 10 to 1 if I posted a video of Maxine Waters telling people to get in the faces of Trump administration and cause a scene, tell them they are not welcome, Twitter et all would not remove it. But if I posted a video of Trump telling people to Peacefully and Patriotically do anything, it would be gone in 5 minutes flat.
    The proof is in the pudding. When anyone on the left makes hateful or vile comments, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the others leave it there. But you let anyone who is a conservative, bring up something factual, and it is full out war against them on these platforms.

    Parler was different. If you kept your opinions LEGAL you were allowed to express yourself. If you violated the law, and they were informed about it, the violating material would be removed (I imagine with a stern warning to the poster at the very least)

    America was founded with every person who calls her home to have the freedom to express themselves. This also means the freedom to say dumb or untrue things. That is what allows Americans the freedom to debate and get to the bottom of the matter. Twitter, Facebook and the like, don’t want debate. They want complete control of what you see, think, feel, read, and say. This is as unamerican as it gets. I walked away from Twitter when I get fed up with them charging after conservatives. My statement to them was that I found it highly offensive to silence anyone for their views on a topic as long as it didn’t break the law. I will not return and especially now that them and others were behind the removal of Parler. The sooner everyone realizes this is what the left and their puppets want, the sooner they can stop messing with us because we won’t be there and they can then turn on each other which is likely what will happen in the end anyway. You haven’t left these platforms yet because you want to share your thoughts and pictures with your friends and family. But is it really worth the struggle to put what you want out there while dodging the algorythm?

    Evil Otto in reply to mark311. | February 11, 2021 at 6:57 am

    No, Mark, it’s not. Now, people have replied to you, so how about responding and defending your point? This hit and run trolling is getting old.

    stathies in reply to mark311. | February 11, 2021 at 7:43 am

    My accounts on both Facebook and Twitter were suspended for posting articles from European sources that questioned the official line on hydroxychloroquine. Hate speech is defined on these platforms as anything questioning the Elite. Galileo would have been bounced.We should have learned better by now

      JusticeDelivered in reply to stathies. | February 11, 2021 at 10:40 am

      Are Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Apple and similar platforms and companies worth our time? Start starving them.

      Trump supporters have the potential to exert a huge economic impact. There is enormous potential here, big tech made an impression with their censorship, imposing very hard times on them would also make a lasting impression.

      Brave Sir Robbin in reply to stathies. | February 11, 2021 at 12:32 pm

      “Galileo would have been bounced.”

      A very sage observation. The list of great minds that would be “bounced” in their time is quite large.

      Plato – bounced; Aristotle – bounced; Jesus – bounced; Copernicus – bounced – indeed, anyone who takes an opposing stand to the opinion of the bouncer. Not very tolerant or open. Banning and censoring may not be illegal, but it is in itself an expression of contempt and hate.

      The thing about liberals is they have no sense or irony, and if they did not have double standards, they would have no standards at all.

Much like the stolen election, the damage is done and the genie can’t be put back. that however doesn’t mean we can take over our local GOP/RNC offices. Attend meetings and you pick the next loser to be elected.

Stop using the word “riot.” I was there and it was absolutely not a riot. By using that word, you are advancing Leftist lies and propaganda.

I think everyone knew that already. Facebook is filled with hate speech of all varieties, especially lefty hate speech. So when does Facebook get deplatformed and Parler reinstated?

The de-platforming was never suspect. We always knew exactly why it was done. So did Jack, Zuck, and Tim. Will they ever pay a price for their actions? It remains to be seen.

They don’t care, they just don’t want us to communicate in any form ever again

Must be great to be king of the world

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the coordinated Big Tech effort to kill Parler was not in any way related to some noble goal of quelling right-wing violence and “insurrection” plotting.

Parler was assassinated to deprive Emmanuel Goldstein of a potential platform.

Big Brother was concerned he might hop on over there after Twitter banned him for life.

“This is not only unconscionable and unjust, it’s unAmerican.”

UnAmerican has been the order of the day for the past four years. For the past three months, it’s been UnAmerican In Yo Face.

For those who remember news when the fairness doctrine was in force, news was more balanced and objective.

The Capitol incident was the excuse for deplatforming Parler, but it wasn’t the reason.

You really think that canceling Parler had anything to do with the mostly peaceful protest at the Capital?

I hope you were just being rhetorical. Otherwise, your naivete is downright frightening.

Pro-tip: The Capital mostly peaceful protest was an EXCUSE, not a reason. As such, whether the facts support the action or not is irrelevant.

I guess vindicating the reputation of the Mercers’ data-collection service is… important?

Not so much real patriots, Trump supporters.

Perhaps you all should stop referring to the events of January 6, 2021, as a “riot”. (Did you not learn what a “riot” is from all the Antifa and BLM riots over the spring and summer?)