An Idiot’s Guide to Parler

 

There seems to be a push by conservatives on Twitter to go a new social media app, Parler, so I decided to check it out. What unfolded was painful so I have a few tips for other senior citizens.

1. If you are a grandma, let your kids set up your account. If you intend to do it yourself, read on.

2. Have your cell phone handy so it can send a code and you don’t have to run to the other side of the house to find your phone and type in the code in 60 seconds, or be by your landline so a computer can call you with the code.

3. Type in your email carefully. You will need it when you forget your password and need a password reset link sent to your email. If you have a dot in your email, heaven help you (liz.herring).

3. Captcha should be called gotcha. I had some script letters and numbers that were so cutesy I couldn’t read them. It took four tries to get it right. If you do it on an IPad, type upper and lowercase letters like you see them. The IPad will try to trick you by presenting what you typed as all uppercase. Parler will then send you a number code that expires in a minute.

4. If you survive the captcha, you move on to the part where you pick a password. The IPad recommends a “strong” password that hackers can’t hack and you can’t remember. Don’t do it. Cheat. Enter something you can remember. IPad will then give you the option of adding it to your keychain. Be very careful and press the right little button or you will be in a big bag of hurt later when you want to add the app to your phone.

5. Once in, it is easy to use. I searched for one person I knew was on it, clicked on his profile, clicked on who he was following, and started clicking on the follow buttons on his list. I rather quickly filled up my list of follows with all the folks I like. Echo=retweet. I really liked it, played a while, and then logged off so I could add it to my phone and log in. Big mistake. I got stuck at the password part…wasn’t in the keychain.

6. So, what does one do? Naturally, click on “reset password” then wait for the email that it says will come in a minute. And wait. And wait. Then try again, and again. Then check the spam folder, then try again. Then I assumed I had typed my email in wrong so I clicked on “forgot email” and it asked for the phone number. Once given, it told me it was sending a message about my email….wait for it…..to my email…..but it never came. Next, we went to customer service to “help“ and typed in a message with our problem. Never heard back.

7. After 9 hours, I gave up and said the heck with this, I am creating a new account. I couldn’t use my email because Parler said it already had an account so my husband created a new email for me. Great. Now it needed a phone number but wouldn’t take mine because it was already in another account, and wouldn’t take the house number because my husband had used it, so we used my husband’s number. Finally got back on.

8. I do like the site. If you go there, I am lizherring, but can’t access that one, and elizabethherring, at least until I mess it up. Moral, don’t let grandmas do technology.

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  1. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret
    @CarolJoy

    Your post managed a nice balance between the pain of interacting with tech-y stuff, and hilarity.

    It is no small feat to be allowed access to  a new social media outlet after having to use *only* two names.

    I’m glad no wise arse had coded the site such that after your typing in “herring” you were told not to use the name of a food, but your real name.

    Facebook was much meaner than that to me, so after using first a maiden name, then a nickname and finally my real name, I went and invented the name of an individual I’d never heard of before. And that is now my user name on FB – a person who actually doesn’t exist. (As the real me couldn’t get on because FB told me  there was no me.)

    • #1
  2. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    The IPad recommends a “strong” password that hackers can’t hack and you can’t remember. Don’t do it. Cheat.

    Haha! Could not agree more. I HATE websites that dictate to me that my password “must contain one uppercase, one lower case, at least two numbers, and they can’t be sequential, and three symbols and something in the Cyrillic Alphabet.” Phooey!

    • #2
  3. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    I have a Twitter account, but I think I get on it about 3 times a year.  I do see copies of Twitter posts in various places and sometimes I copy them on FB if they are pithy.

    I’m not sure I want to get active on Twitter.  Another time suck?  I think maybe Ricochet and FB are enough.

    • #3
  4. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    EB (View Comment):

    I have a Twitter account, but I think I get on it about 3 times a year. I do see copies of Twitter posts in various places and sometimes I copy them on FB if they are pithy.

    I’m not sure I want to get active on Twitter. Another time suck? I think maybe Ricochet and FB are enough.

    Ricochet is my favorite. I use FB to exchange pictures with family members and link to political articles. When FB “fact check” censures them, I just send the link by PM to family members.

    • #4
  5. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Please explain “Parler”  I have never heard of it. 

    • #5
  6. Some Call Me ...Tim Coolidge
    Some Call Me ...Tim
    @SomeCallMeTim

    Great post. I feel your pain.  I get my kids to do all my tech stuff.
    Having said that,  your fundamental mistake was to get on Twitter.  It’s all downhill from there.

    Sincerely,

    Tim

    • #6
  7. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Please explain “Parler” I have never heard of it.

    It is a competitor of Twitter, only not run by lefties.

    • #7
  8. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    The problem you had trying to set up a new account is one I’ve run into quite a few times. People like me who have had Internet accounts in a hundred places over the past fifteen years are really in trouble when we try to set up a new account because either or both of our pieces of data–password or username–doesn’t click with website. When I try to set up a new account, and it won’t let me because for some reason even though it keeps telling me it doesn’t recognize me, clearly on some database, it does recognize me because it rejects my account based on the phone or e-mail address. Does it or doesn’t it? Good grief.

    A few times I’ve given up completely. If these stores want any more of my business, they need to fix their system. Usually I have to get help from someone inside the company because I have only one phone number and two e-mail addresses, and I’ve had them for years. There’s no alternate I want to use.

    I also object strenuously to the two-factor identification system that requires my phone number. I like to keep my personal computer separate from my smartphone for security reasons. I don’t want my smartphone to be a back door access to my home personal computer. It’s a legitimate concern.

    • #8
  9. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    MarciN (View Comment):
    it does because it rejects my account based on the phone or e-mail address. It says it already has it. Does it or doesn’t it? Good grief. 

    I have had the same problem. K-Mart pestered me for years about joining their rewards program…then when I tried, it rejected it saying my email was already in use. Now, K-Mart is no more. 

    • #9
  10. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Pops (me): Here’s an article by another grandma about a new social medium.  Have you heard of it?  It’s called…

    [Pops tries to find the name of the new social medium. His spouse finally grows impatient.]

    The Brown-Eyed Beauty: Yes.

    Pops: It’s called “parler”.  How did you know?  Never mind.

    [Pops decides to look it up in a general reference publication–an encyclopedia–to get an unbiased view.  Pops no longer has his old Encyclopedia Britannica, so he goes to the one that’s handy.  Wikipedia. He reads:

    Parler is a United States-based social networking service launched in August 2018, regarded as an alternative to Twitter. It is marketed as an unbiased, free-speech social media platform focused on protecting “users’ rights”.[1] It has been noted for its base of users who are fans of Donald Trump, as well as the presence and proliferation of alt-right, neo-nazi, anti-feminist and conspiracy theory content.]

     

    My comment is this.  The Left are treading a thin line between achieving their disinformation objectives, and just looking ridiculous.

    In this case, the Left stumbled way over the line.  They just look ridiculous.

    If you don’t know what’s going on with the dominant social media outlets like Wikipedia, Facebook, and Twitter, this is an example.

    • #10
  11. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Interesting, I wonder why I had never heard of it before.  In any case, I think I’ll give it a miss.  I’m not on Facebook or Twitter, and every day I am reminded what a good decision that was.  Ricochet and my own blog will have to suffice.  It helps that I don’t have much in the way of family to communicate with anymore.

    About that password thing, I have Comcast internet, and I knew that I could have up to five addresses/accounts.  Well, I was not aware that each account has to have its own unique backup email address so they can communicate with you if there are problems.  In order to add my last account, I had to set up two new email accounts, since I had closed my gmail account over a year ago and couldn’t use that one as a backup.  I also can’t use my work email, since I am retiring in two months.

    • #11
  12. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    The “principled” geniuses at The Bulwark are referring to Parler as a “Far Right Autonomous Zone”.

    I think they’re having a hissy-fit because they didn’t think of it themselves.

    • #12
  13. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    The “principled” geniuses at The Bulwark are referring to Parler as a “Far Right Autonomous Zone”.

    I think they’re having a hissy-fit because they didn’t think of it themselves.

    It surprises me they think what I have seen is “far right.” It tells me their rebellion is against more than Trump. They weren’t man enough to tell us they were against all of us. 

    • #13
  14. PHenry Member
    PHenry
    @PHenry

    Just joined Parler myself.  Had a twitter account for about 10 years and logged in twice.  

    The issues you encountered with the multiple verifications is becoming standard, I can’t begin to tell you how many bounces and lookups I have to do to log in at work now.  If I thought it meant I couldn’t be hacked I wouldn’t mind, but it will all be defeated in a few more hours, if history is any measure.  

     

    • #14
  15. Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) Member
    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing)
    @Sisyphus

    I gave Parler a try. Downloaded the app, got as far as text confirmation and it rejected its own text code and then failed to send another on the retry. Giving up after six tries, I went back to start.

    If I try to log in using my phone number, my phone number is not known.

    If I try to recover password for my email, it never sends the reset email.

    Tried the browser, after a few tries on the text validation they managed to get a text to my phone. That makes them two for thirty so far, but I am on the browser interface now. Still can’t use the iPhone app, blocked by the fabulously useless text validation nonsense. 

    I love when these social network apps get so popular that they have to frustrate users trying to explore their platform. Because, following little Billy Gates approach, being annoying is the key to being successful.

    • #15
  16. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) (View Comment):

    I gave Parler a try. Downloaded the app, got as far as text confirmation and it rejected its own text code and then failed to send another on the retry. Giving up after six tries, I went back to start.

    If I try to log in using my phone number, my phone number is not known.

    If I try to recover password for my email, it never sends the reset email.

    Tried the browser, after a few tries on the text validation they managed to get a text to my phone. That makes them two for thirty so far, but I am on the browser interface now. Still can’t use the iPhone app, blocked by the fabulously useless text validation nonsense.

    I love when these social network apps get so popular that they have to frustrate users trying to explore their platform. Because, following little Billy Gates approach, being annoying is the key to being successful.

    We need to give the new IT community a break here.  As far as they know from their education, they are the first people to try to design software to satisfy the requirements of its users.  That would be an abstract idea, and they were programmed to believe that abstract ideas don’t matter, just how cool their hip new programming language is.

    • #16
  17. Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) Member
    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing)
    @Sisyphus

    Now, a half hour later, the password reset email gerbil has woken up and spammed my email. I expect to see validation texts hitting over the next several days.

    I love the idea of Parler, they may need some investment to scale the platform.

    Or more gerbils.

    • #17
  18. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) (View Comment):
    Still can’t use the iPhone app, blocked by the fabulously useless text validation nonsense. 

    That is why I called captcha, gotcha.

    • #18
  19. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    I signed up yesterday. I have several issues with the site. Beyond the censorship on Twitter, there are usability aspects of Twitter that Parler should replicate…like the character length of posts and lengthier descriptions of linked articles. Also searching for other users is painful and arduous. The user experience at the moment isn’t good. But it’s new. My guess is that in the next few months they’ll work to correct some of the issues. Hopefully.

    • #19
  20. Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) Member
    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing)
    @Sisyphus

    And now the texts all slammed in together, long after the suspense to enter the code. But a fresh try fails their own time limit again.

    I did get three welcome messages from different members of the concierge service. But my search efforts were…exotic. A search yields no results, clear the search string and start a new one, and results for my previous three searches pop up. Better late than never?

    • #20
  21. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret
    @CarolJoy

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) (View Comment):
    Still can’t use the iPhone app, blocked by the fabulously useless text validation nonsense.

    That is why I called captcha, gotcha.

    Hmm, EHerring.  You mentioned a few comments ago how frustrating K Mart could be (kindred spirits we may be) and then you mentioned they’re gone now. Do you have some super secret super power?

    And the captcha, gotcha thing is brilliant too.

    I used to think that validation photos where you pick out the photo squares where the user must select seagulls or rowboats  or some such were randomly generated by computer, but they can be so cruel. Now I think that some especially cruel and sadistic death row guys are choosing them.

    Every time the photo array is presented I end up squinting and squinting. Is that only a plane in the sky, or is it a seagull?

    • #21
  22. Joshua Bissey Coolidge
    Joshua Bissey
    @TheSockMonkey

    Any web application is likely to encounter problems when there is enough of a rush of new users. Today has been deemed #FreeSpeechFriday, and logging off Twitter and onto Parler is part of that. No surprise if they are having some trouble dealing with the traffic.

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/06/25/jump-off-twitter-and-into-parler-for-tomorrows-free-speech-friday/

     

    • #22
  23. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    I signed up a couple of days ago. It went flawlessly.

     

    Apparently 500k have signed up in the last couple of days.

    I encourage all to join.

    This can be an important place for conservatives to communicate in the run up to the election.

    I expect that Facebook, Twitter and Google et al will do everything they can to throttle any information that doesn’t fit the Pravda in a naked attempt to steal the election.

     

     

    • #23
  24. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    backup email address so they can communicate with you if there are problems. In order to add my last account, I had to set up two new email accounts, since I had closed my gmail account over a year ago and couldn’t use that one as a backup. I also can’t use my work email, since

    By the way, in case nobody has said this already, parler (par-LAY) is the French infinitive “to speak.”  I don’t know if that’s what they had in mind or not, or how we’re supposed to pronounce it.

    • #24
  25. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Thanks for the excellent post. I don’t like Twitter because I am too verbose to express myself in so few words. I don’t like Facebook but use it for the same reason you do, to send pictures of cats and gardens to family (and to promote audiobooks, which I also do shamelessly here). I come here for mature, reasoned conversation in a place where I won’t be steamrolled or yelled at; the worst that has ever happened to me here was being ignored.

    Your password/captcha/two factor authentication struggles (very entertainingly told, by the way) made me nostalgic for the dear dead CompuServe days. When you signed up with CompuServe you got a user ID that was numeric (70020,224…those neurons are still firing!) and a password that consisted of a word, an underscore, and another word (maintain_canoe or some random combination). They were easy to remember and hard to spoof. You could change them to anything you wanted; idiot_savant served me well for years.

    From 1984 to 1998, I ran Forums on CompuServe; for the last half of that time it was my full time job. The AOL buyout brought that to an abrupt halt but it was a golden time for me; I got to be Mr. Mom with my infant daughter and young son, among many other good things. I think CompuServe Forums worked so well for two reasons: you paid to be there, and there were rules. Note the similarities to Ricochet.

    • #25
  26. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and
    @Misthiocracy

    The whole point of Parler is that it puts users’ privacy first.  That means it has to be high-security. That means it’s not going to be convenient to use.

    It’s impossible to make a network completely secure against bad guys but completely open for good guys. 

    Refusing to follow the site’s security rules undermines the whole point of the site.

    • #26
  27. A-Squared Inactive
    A-Squared
    @ASquared

    I actually tried to set up a parler account.  I was on my phone, so I got the text with the code, I just copied it over…but it didn’t recognize the code.  I recopied and repasted several times before 60 seconds was up.  I hit the “resend code” button but it never sent another text, so I gave up.

    • #27
  28. Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) Member
    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing)
    @Sisyphus

    A-Squared (View Comment):

    I actually tried to set up a parler account. I was on my phone, so I got the text with the code, I just copied it over…but it didn’t recognize the code. I recopied and repasted several times before 60 seconds was up. I hit the “resend code” button but it never sent another text, so I gave up.

    Yeah. The text will show up some day. At 2AM ET I was able to do it. Looking around, a HUGE number of people joined yesterday, the owner claimed over 500,000. John Batchelor, Bari Weiss, Kayleigh McEnany (69,000 followers in 22 hours, you go girl!), National Review, Jordan Lancaster, Adam Baldwin, many more.

    • #28
  29. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) (View Comment):

    A-Squared (View Comment):

    I actually tried to set up a parler account. I was on my phone, so I got the text with the code, I just copied it over…but it didn’t recognize the code. I recopied and repasted several times before 60 seconds was up. I hit the “resend code” button but it never sent another text, so I gave up.

    Yeah. The text will show up some day. At 2AM ET I was able to do it. Looking around, a HUGE number of people joined yesterday, the owner claimed over 500,000. John Batchelor, Bari Weiss, Kayleigh McEnany (69,000 followers in 22 hours, you go girl!), National Review, Jordan Lancaster, Adam Baldwin, many more.

    Adam Baldwin? I’m in.

    • #29
  30. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    EHerring: Moral, don’t let grandmas do technology.

    Love this post.

    But: I don’t think you’re right about the moral.  The moral is, “stop setting up technology in such stupid and inhuman ways that it is painful and frustrating for people to use.”

    Grandmas be damned.  (I realize that I probably will be, but I made my living in technology, until well past the date that I became one, and I didn’t suddenly become incompetent at the techie stuff, or my job, the day my granddaughter was born.)

    A bad user interface is a bad user interface, no matter the age or familial status of the poor soul trying to navigate and mitigate around it.  And using “security” as an excuse for creating a bad, and difficult to use, user interface is just a cop out.

    All that being said, there’s a reason this granny, in her downtime, gravitates to spinning, knitting, and the mechanical and agricultural arts and sciences, (something so liberating about a “solution” to a problem that almost always starts with “whack it with a hammer”) and almost totally eschews the electronic mysteries, other than this one, in her daily life.

    I just had a look at Parler’s home page.  I’m not sure what this even means:

    “Our content is moderated based off the FCC and the Supreme court of the United States which enables free expression without violence and a lack of censorship.” 

    I’m not sure I want to sign up for a site that mangles the English language so badly, and which speaks with such a lack of clarity, no matter how “private” they make me feel.  Also, there’s a broken link, at the “Welcome to Parler News Social Platform” statement.

    See.  This is what I mean.  Poor UI.  Sloppy.

    Then, there’s that whole French thing.  Bit like Ricochet, really.  Only more so, because, not a word that’s become part of the Anglospeak, yet, anyway.

    Rule, Britannia.

     

     

    • #30