The social media platform Parler leads the download charts of Apple and Google this week after the election victory of Joe Biden over President Donald Trump.
The Parler app, which is offered as an alternative to Facebook and Twitter, has profiled itself as a social network of “free speech” and is populated by Republican politicians and a variety of right-wing personalities who have been banned from mainstream services.
In the U.S., Parler now tops Apple’s chart of free downloads and the Google Play Store, according to data from analyst firm SensorTower, which indicated that the app attracted approximately 200,000 downloads in both stores combined last month.
The exact size of the app’s user base is not entirely clear, but Parler CEO John Matze stated in a posting yesterday that the app has received up to two million new accounts. “We expected about one million people today… but two? You are crazy,” he wrote.
While the Conservatives are coping with Trump’s defeat, in the last few days well-traced users on Twitter have been appealing to their readers to sign up with Parler, usually citing censorship. The app is currently on the latest downloads via TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Last Friday, Fox Business News moderator Maria Bartiromo claimed that she would abandon Twitter in favor of Parler after some of her updates were hidden behind a flag warning users that their posts contained election misinformation or “controversial” allegations.
Former House of Representatives spokesman Newt Gingrich last week called on his Twitter followers to join him on Parler, claiming that Twitter was trying to “silence” his views and opinions.
Mark Levin, a right-wing radio personality, repeatedly advertised Parler last week, claiming that Facebook was in a “campaign of repression” against his posts and passing on anecdotal evidence of an “exodus” from the website run by Mark Zuckerberg.
Trump campaign consultant Katrina Pierson said last Friday that Trump’s entry into Parler Twitter would make it “irrelevant” because CEO Jack Dorsey “could no longer interfere with the election or censor Trump supporters” while promoting her own profile.
Several high-profile users are already active on the Parler platform, including Senator Ted Cruz, Fox News anchor Sean Hannity, Congressman Devin Nunes and Eric Trump. The President has no active Parler profile, but his campaign does.
Trump complained last week that Twitter was “out of control” after he called dozens of his posts possibly false about the presidential election.
Without evidence, the president has repeatedly hinted that the Democrats tried to “steal” the election and that the process of counting the postal ballots was manipulated or falsified. Since the election results, his campaign has taken legal action in several states to challenge the results of the election that Biden won.
The face of the project: Matze has claimed that his platform does not censor the speech of users, and on the weekend he said that the moderation of Twitter against Trump was “ridiculous”.
For Parler, the apparent influx of new users brought with it a series of errors and glitches. The platform’s development team said yesterday that users might have problems with the app, and noted that “a few things exploded” when traffic came to the servers.
“We have increased the number of people per day on Parler by 4 times in the last 24 hours… it looks like this trend will continue”, Matze said yesterday. “Don’t worry, the app is usually not that slow, and with a little time these problems will be solved.
On Twitter the conservative podcast host and strategic investor Dan Bongino from Parler asked users to be patient until the problems are solved. Bongino, who apparently rejected the Biden win, claimed that the app “adds thousands of users per minute”.
“The media and the anti-trump freaks have awakened a sleeping giant,” Bongino tweeted yesterday as downloads skyrocketed. “We have given the tech tyrants a collective middle finger, as Parler is still the NUMBER ONE most downloaded app in the world”.
Disclaimer of liability: Newt Gingrich is a Washington Newsday opinion columnist….