Free Speech Lives! Parler is Back Online.

 

Parler is back! Seems a bit buggy, but free speech always was. At the moment I can get it on Chrome using my phone, but not on the laptop.

I’ve occasionally toyed with the response I might give when someone is upset that I’m on Parler. I imagine some statement of dismay from a friend or co-worker, something like, “You mean you’re on that website that has extremists, that internet playground for conspiracy theorists?” I lean towards a response along the lines of, “Yes, I’ve been on Facebook for some time.”

It’s not like there aren’t abortion-to-the-point-of-birth-and-maybe-a-little-bit-after extremists, people with extreme socialist views on economic policy, and various other extremists favorable to the left on Facebook and Twitter–alongside the people who actually planned the January 6 acts of evil. One difference is that the left-wing extremists are more mainstream on the left than right-wing extremists are on the right, but the main difference seems to be simply that Big Tech likes them more.

And conspiracy theories? Well, it’s not like there aren’t right-wing conspiracy theorists on Facebook. But what gets me is the left-wing conspiracy theories that are not only mainstream Democrat positions but are also perfectly welcome on Facebook–“Bush lied about WMD” and Russian collusion.

I’ve met one Q-Anon guy on Parler that I know of; at least, I think he is, based on the overlap between things he says and things I’m vaguely aware that Q-Anon confusedly says. At least he cares about small children and recognizes that all human beings matter. His heart appears to be in the right place. If Parler can be a soul-destroying cesspool of hate, I haven’t noticed it yet. I’ve been splashed by the waters of that cesspool on Facebook a few times, and, as for Twitter, well . . . Twitter just scares me.

That’s one reason I’m on Parler: It’s like a Twitter that doesn’t scare me. (Actually, I initially joined up because of Mrs. Augustine, who had recently joined. Same reason I originally joined Facebook.)

But probably the biggest reason I aim to stay, and am glad today that Parler is back up, is that I prefer refutation to censorship for nearly every bad idea. Welcome back, Parler!

Published in Technology
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 35 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    It let me in, anyway. I don’t remember whether I had any old posts that need to be restored. Probably not.

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Saint Augustine: If Parler can be a soul-destroying cesspool of hate, I haven’t noticed it yet.

    Gimmie a minnit, will ya? I’m fulminating as fast as I can.

    • #2
  3. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Saint Augustine: I prefer refutation to censorship for nearly every bad idea.

    Amen. And the exceptions do not immediately leap to mind.

    • #3
  4. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine: I prefer refutation to censorship for nearly every bad idea.

    Amen. And the exceptions do not immediately leap to mind.

    Well, calls for violence do come to mind. And child porn.  I’d even include adult porn.

    • #4
  5. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine: I prefer refutation to censorship for nearly every bad idea.

    Amen. And the exceptions do not immediately leap to mind.

    Well, calls for violence do come to mind. And child porn. I’d even include adult porn.

    Ah. I guess I distinguish between “ideas” and speech in a generic sense. I don’t think of, for example, “let’s go now to Bob’s house and kill him” as an expression of an idea, per se. Saying “people who do what Bob does should be executed” is the expression of an idea.

    Obviously there’s some line-drawing that has to go on here.

    • #5
  6. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine: I prefer refutation to censorship for nearly every bad idea.

    Amen. And the exceptions do not immediately leap to mind.

    Well, calls for violence do come to mind. And child porn. I’d even include adult porn.

    Ah. I guess I distinguish between “ideas” and speech in a generic sense. I don’t think of, for example, “let’s go now to Bob’s house and kill him” as an expression of an idea, per se. Saying “people who do what Bob does should be executed” is the expression of an idea.

    Obviously there’s some line-drawing that has to go on here.

    Oh, well said. Yes, with that distinction ideas do come to mind less readily.

    • #6
  7. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    I get a 404 not found error on the whole Parler domain.

    • #7
  8. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Clavius (View Comment):

    I get a 404 not found error on the whole Parler domain.

    I’ve connected every time I’ve tried to reach it. You might try flushing your DNS cache; it may remember an old IP address for the site. (I usually do it from a command prompt, via the “ipconfig /flushdns” command.)

    • #8
  9. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    I’m having problems with the Android app. We’ll see if it sorts out.

    • #9
  10. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    I’m having problems with the Android app. We’ll see if it sorts out.

    Yeah the iOS app isn’t working for me either, but the web site works. 

    • #10
  11. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine: I prefer refutation to censorship for nearly every bad idea.

    Amen. And the exceptions do not immediately leap to mind.

    Well, calls for violence do come to mind. And child porn. I’d even include adult porn.

    Ah. I guess I distinguish between “ideas” and speech in a generic sense. I don’t think of, for example, “let’s go now to Bob’s house and kill him” as an expression of an idea, per se. Saying “people who do what Bob does should be executed” is the expression of an idea.

    Obviously there’s some line-drawing that has to go on here.

    So to play Devil’s Advocate, that was precisely the reason Apple, Google, and Amazon gave for banning Parler: specific calls for violence against Vice President Pence and members of Congress, plus Parler’s inability or unwillingness to remove such posts. 

    • #11
  12. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine: I prefer refutation to censorship for nearly every bad idea.

    Amen. And the exceptions do not immediately leap to mind.

    Well, calls for violence do come to mind. And child porn. I’d even include adult porn.

    Ah. I guess I distinguish between “ideas” and speech in a generic sense. I don’t think of, for example, “let’s go now to Bob’s house and kill him” as an expression of an idea, per se. Saying “people who do what Bob does should be executed” is the expression of an idea.

    Obviously there’s some line-drawing that has to go on here.

    So to play Devil’s Advocate, that was precisely the reason Apple, Google, and Amazon gave for banning Parler: specific calls for violence against Vice President Pence and members of Congress, plus Parler’s inability or unwillingness to remove such posts.

    Pity that they didn’t save any screen shots. It would have been helpful for the FBI to track down the instigators. They did take screen shots, didn’t they? I would have.

    • #12
  13. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):
    So to play Devil’s Advocate, that was precisely the reason Apple, Google, and Amazon gave for banning Parler: specific calls for violence against Vice President Pence and members of Congress, plus Parler’s inability or unwillingness to remove such posts. 

    If those calls were flagged and reported to law enforcement, then I’d think Parler’s unwillingness to remove them is a problem.  The reason I’d like specifics is because, as we have seen here on Ricochet and in the impeachment prosecution, there are some really wacko interpretations of what constitutes a specific call to violence.

    • #13
  14. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine: I prefer refutation to censorship for nearly every bad idea.

    Amen. And the exceptions do not immediately leap to mind.

    Well, calls for violence do come to mind. And child porn. I’d even include adult porn.

    Ah. I guess I distinguish between “ideas” and speech in a generic sense. I don’t think of, for example, “let’s go now to Bob’s house and kill him” as an expression of an idea, per se. Saying “people who do what Bob does should be executed” is the expression of an idea.

    Obviously there’s some line-drawing that has to go on here.

    So to play Devil’s Advocate, that was precisely the reason Apple, Google, and Amazon gave for banning Parler: specific calls for violence against Vice President Pence and members of Congress, plus Parler’s inability or unwillingness to remove such posts.

     I don’t believe that is the story Parler tells. What in this story are you able to confirm?

    As I recall, hashtags about murdering Pence were indeed trending on Twitter at one point. And the 6 Jan. stuff was planned on Fb. This would seem to suggest that if any line was indeed drawn it was about something else.

    • #14
  15. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    I’m in as Clavius.

    • #15
  16. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Clavius (View Comment):

    I get a 404 not found error on the whole Parler domain.

    I’ve connected every time I’ve tried to reach it. You might try flushing your DNS cache; it may remember an old IP address for the site. (I usually do it from a command prompt, via the “ipconfig /flushdns” command.)

    I tried that with my Windows machine and it did not work. I will try again later. 

    • #16
  17. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Saint Augustine:

    At the moment I can get it on Chrome using my phone, but not on the laptop.

    It’s available on the laptop now. Looks like all my old Parleys are gone, but my followers/ees and settings are still there.

    • #17
  18. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine: I prefer refutation to censorship for nearly every bad idea.

    Amen. And the exceptions do not immediately leap to mind.

    Well, calls for violence do come to mind. And child porn. I’d even include adult porn.

    Ah. I guess I distinguish between “ideas” and speech in a generic sense. I don’t think of, for example, “let’s go now to Bob’s house and kill him” as an expression of an idea, per se. Saying “people who do what Bob does should be executed” is the expression of an idea.

    Obviously there’s some line-drawing that has to go on here.

    So to play Devil’s Advocate, that was precisely the reason Apple, Google, and Amazon gave for banning Parler: specific calls for violence against Vice President Pence and members of Congress, plus Parler’s inability or unwillingness to remove such posts.

    My general approach is to go with the legal definition of criminal speech. The actual standard for criminal incitement is quite high, and hard to reach on social media. I’m skeptical that our tech overlords were being entirely straight with us.

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I think I’ll just stick with my usual plan. No platforms for me. Except Ricochet, of course.

    • #19
  20. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and
    @Misthiocracy

    If people really wanted Internet freedom they would use one of the truly decentralized social media platforms that already exist.

    Diaspora, for example.  Or GNU Social.  Or identi.ca/pump.io.

    Parler is just a right-wing Twitter. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s still a corporate social network platform, and therefore not truly free.

    The trouble is, truly free and/or decentralized social media platforms don’t have Parler’s marketing reach, so fewer people learn about ’em and therefore they fail to reach the necessary critical mass of users.

    Also, the free decentralized platforms require a little more technical effort.

    • #20
  21. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):

    If people really wanted Internet freedom they would use one of the truly decentralized social media platforms that already exist.

    Diaspora, for example. Or GNU Social. Or identi.ca/pump.io.

    I don’t think people want Internet freedom so much as they want to be free to discuss things without being censored.  There is a difference. It’s like the difference between 1) being against slavery and 2) not wanting to be enslaved.  Not everyone who wants the latter is in favor of the former. 

    Now that you mention it, I recall that a few years ago I was trying out a decentralized social media system, but don’t remember what it was called. It wasn’t one of the names with links that you listed above. It was probably before I started using my current password saver, so I probably don’t have passwords there to remind me.  Maybe these bear some relation to it. I’ll check them out.  

    • #21
  22. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Saint Augustine: I’ve occasionally toyed with the response I might give when someone is upset that I’m on Parler. I imagine some statement of dismay from a friend or co-worker, something like, “You mean you’re on that website that has extremists, that internet playground for conspiracy theorists?” I lean towards a response along the lines of, “Yes, I’ve been on Facebook for some time.”

    You could respond by saying, “No, that’s why I left Facebook and switched to Parler.”

    • #22
  23. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Okay, Parler.

    I despise Twitter. It’s an awful concept, this effort to reduce discourse to bumper sticker slogans hurled by smugly anonymous loudmouths. Whatever its value as a robust link distribution service in times of crisis, it’s an incubator of incivility and vulgarity. It embodies much of what is wrong with public discourse; it probably drives much of it.

    To the extent that Parler is a free-speech response to Twitter’s censorship, I applaud it. But I don’t want another Twitter, and I hope Parler can avoid becoming a similarly shallow and vulgar place. We don’t need a right-wing Twitter.

    And there’s something broken in Parler’s approach to user interface design and implementation. No one has ever accused me of tasteful user interface design: I cut my teeth on DECs and IBMs circa 1980 and it shows in everything I write today. (“Who needs fonts and colors, anyway? Green was good enough for me. When I was a young man an ADM-3A was a luxury.” etc.)

    Someone replied to something I posted on Parler and I can’t read my response. I can’t scroll; there are no scroll bars. Lots of bubbles and on-screen automation and pretty boxes with radiused corners, but no scroll bars. Hrumph.

    • #23
  24. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Okay, Parler.

    I despise Twitter. It’s an awful concept, this effort to reduce discourse to bumper sticker slogans hurled by smugly anonymous loudmouths. Whatever its value as a robust link distribution service in times of crisis, it’s an incubator of incivility and vulgarity. It embodies much of what is wrong with public discourse; it probably drives much of it.

    To the extent that Parler is a free-speech response to Twitter’s censorship, I applaud it. But I don’t want another Twitter, and I hope Parler can avoid becoming a similarly shallow and vulgar place. We don’t need a right-wing Twitter.

    And there’s something broken in Parler’s approach to user interface design and implementation. No one has ever accused me of tasteful user interface design: I cut my teeth on DECs and IBMs circa 1980 and it shows in everything I write today. (“Who needs fonts and colors, anyway? Green was good enough for me. When I was a young man an ADM-3A was a luxury.” etc.)

    Someone replied to something I posted on Parler and I can’t read my response. I can’t scroll; there are no scroll bars. Lots of bubbles and on-screen automation and pretty boxes with radiused corners, but no scroll bars. Hrumph.

    These days the idea is to hide scroll bars to make it difficult for you to find them. Maybe make them visible only when you put your cursor on the magic hidden pixel while sitting on your left leg and scratching your left earlobe. Also, when they become visible, make the user guess whether the dark or the light portion represents the portion visible on your screen. The more time you spend hunting for scroll bars and deciphering them, the less time you spend causing difficulty for our rulers.   

    • #24
  25. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Okay, Parler.

    I despise Twitter. It’s an awful concept, this effort to reduce discourse to bumper sticker slogans hurled by smugly anonymous loudmouths. Whatever its value as a robust link distribution service in times of crisis, it’s an incubator of incivility and vulgarity. It embodies much of what is wrong with public discourse; it probably drives much of it.

    To the extent that Parler is a free-speech response to Twitter’s censorship, I applaud it. But I don’t want another Twitter, and I hope Parler can avoid becoming a similarly shallow and vulgar place. We don’t need a right-wing Twitter.

    And there’s something broken in Parler’s approach to user interface design and implementation. No one has ever accused me of tasteful user interface design: I cut my teeth on DECs and IBMs circa 1980 and it shows in everything I write today. (“Who needs fonts and colors, anyway? Green was good enough for me. When I was a young man an ADM-3A was a luxury.” etc.)

    Someone replied to something I posted on Parler and I can’t read my response. I can’t scroll; there are no scroll bars. Lots of bubbles and on-screen automation and pretty boxes with radiused corners, but no scroll bars. Hrumph.

    These days the idea is to hide scroll bars to make it difficult for you to find them. Maybe make them visible only when you put your cursor on the magic hidden pixel while sitting on your left leg and scratching your left earlobe. Also, when they become visible, make the user guess whether the dark or the light portion represents the portion visible on your screen. The more time you spend hunting for scroll bars and deciphering them, the less time you spend causing difficulty for our rulers.

    You gotta add the little video window that pops up in the lower right hand corner of the screen after you scroll past the video that was at the top of the page. Make sure that either there is no means of dismissing the little video window, or that the sweet spot for doing so is very tiny and attempting to use it causes the redirect to whatever scam the video is hawking.

    • #25
  26. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I think I’ll just stick with my usual plan. No platforms for me. Except Ricochet, of course.

    Yeah, this is the important one.

    • #26
  27. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):

    If people really wanted Internet freedom they would use one of the truly decentralized social media platforms that already exist.

    Diaspora, for example. Or GNU Social. Or identi.ca/pump.io.

    Interesting. I should look into it sometime.

    • #27
  28. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Okay, Parler.

    I despise Twitter. It’s an awful concept, this effort to reduce discourse to bumper sticker slogans hurled by smugly anonymous loudmouths. Whatever its value as a robust link distribution service in times of crisis, it’s an incubator of incivility and vulgarity. It embodies much of what is wrong with public discourse; it probably drives much of it.

    To the extent that Parler is a free-speech response to Twitter’s censorship, I applaud it. But I don’t want another Twitter, and I hope Parler can avoid becoming a similarly shallow and vulgar place. We don’t need a right-wing Twitter.

    And there’s something broken in Parler’s approach to user interface design and implementation. No one has ever accused me of tasteful user interface design: I cut my teeth on DECs and IBMs circa 1980 and it shows in everything I write today. (“Who needs fonts and colors, anyway? Green was good enough for me. When I was a young man an ADM-3A was a luxury.” etc.)

    Someone replied to something I posted on Parler and I can’t read my response. I can’t scroll; there are no scroll bars. Lots of bubbles and on-screen automation and pretty boxes with radiused corners, but no scroll bars. Hrumph.

    Nice comment!

    Yes, even without the odd “Please rotate device” pop-up I was getting yesterday, the system is buggy and/or fails to be user-friendly. That was also true before the shutdown.

    If you hover the cursor over the exact area where you want to scroll and use the scroll function on your mouse or touchpad, it should work.

    • #28
  29. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine: I prefer refutation to censorship for nearly every bad idea.

    Amen. And the exceptions do not immediately leap to mind.

    Well, calls for violence do come to mind. And child porn. I’d even include adult porn.

    Ah. I guess I distinguish between “ideas” and speech in a generic sense. I don’t think of, for example, “let’s go now to Bob’s house and kill him” as an expression of an idea, per se. Saying “people who do what Bob does should be executed” is the expression of an idea.

    Obviously there’s some line-drawing that has to go on here.

    So to play Devil’s Advocate, that was precisely the reason Apple, Google, and Amazon gave for banning Parler: specific calls for violence against Vice President Pence and members of Congress, plus Parler’s inability or unwillingness to remove such posts.

    I don’t believe that is the story Parler tells. What in this story are you able to confirm?

    As I recall, hashtags about murdering Pence were indeed trending on Twitter at one point. And the 6 Jan. stuff was planned on Fb. This would seem to suggest that if any line was indeed drawn it was about something else.

    Would like to know the truth about what Parker did or did not not do that day….

    • #29
  30. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    I’ve not been able to access in about half a day. Anyone else having this problem?

    • #30