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Parler Goes Dark, Will Users Now Read Books?

January 11, 2021

Parler, the conservative and violent-prone social media platform is not stoking their followers today since the major players in the tech world simply said that ‘enough is enough’. That is a good thing for our nation as it struggles to limit the dangers posed by Donald Trump’s lies about the election returns, and his easily swayed followers who have demonstrated their unstable natures.

Amazon Web Services landed a most serious punch to Parler when it stated this weekend that due to the “steady increase in…violent content on your website” it would no longer provide its Web hosting services.

AWS said it “cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others,” according to the email, adding that Parler “poses a very real risk to public safety.” 

The far right-wing have attempted to portray this nationally as undermining free speech. That is absurd. Such thinking would be akin to having someone who is against my opinions on this blog demanding that I place their views alongside my posts. Operations such as Amazon or Google are not in any way obligated to allow hate groups access to, or assistance from, their sites.

Failing to moderate the most vile and violent content on Parler is not the job of web hosting sites or those that provide apps to the conservative playground. Parler, itself, has an obligation to police the types of people who crawl out from their rocks to spew their invectives.

It was an active weekend for news about Parler as first we heard the reports that Apple and Google removed the app from their app stores because they said it had not sufficiently policed its users’ posts, allowing too many that encouraged violence and crime. Then, late Saturday, Amazon told Parler it would boot the company from its web-hosting service on Sunday night because of repeated violations of Amazon’s rules.

There is nothing wrong with the actions taken by these private companies. While free speech is a cornerstone to our democracy having access to an audience is not a right. I have worked for well over a decade to create this blog and other social media outlets for my writings. That does not mean anyone else has a right to use my site for pushing violence and deranged thinking. Yet that is precisely what Parler was wishing for when it came to app stores and hosting sites.

I have long felt and desired our national government to be the ones who, through the regulatory processes, must set the guidelines for content on these types of sites. It is essential that we examine the nature of content in a time when instantaneous messaging of views can be whipped around the globe. To pretend all speech, such as violent statements, has the same level of protection as the ones who urge for a candidate’s election or espouse a policy view is absurd.

The ironic part of this weekend’s developments (at least for me) is a need to now to say thanks to, of all entities, corporations, for doing the right thing regarding Parler!

Meanwhile the most rancid of content will not be up on the internet for the right-wing circles and Trump’s under-educated universe to latch onto and then repeat and make even viler. In the meantime, the concept of what is protected free speech and how its careless use can undermine a democratic nation must be considered with more seriousness.

But now what will the Parler users do with their free time? Given what we have read of their online rants I have a suggestion that begs for immediate application.

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