After Facebook’s recent ban of former President Donald Trump, people began to question which right-leaning voices Big Tech would silence next. There have been countless examples of social media platforms killing stories that don’t align with the radical left narrative or silencing conservative voices at every level of discourse.
One of the biggest examples was when Big Tech tried to silence the conservative social media platform Parler citing “concerns for public safety” after the Capitol Hill riot in January. Amazon, Apple, and Google all booted and banned the platform from their web hosting services and app stores.
Democrat lawmakers even tried to justify the ban by claiming that conservatives were inciting violence on the app. But that argument died quickly after people found left-wing activist John Sullivan discussing the Capitol Hill plans and filmed videos that he later posted on Twitter and Youtube encouraging protesters to riot.
Parler has named a new CEO, George Farmer, and said interim CEO Mark Meckler would be leaving. Mike Hebert will be moving into the role of COO and Patrick Galbraith will become the new CTO. The company said that Farmer has been an active financial supporter and candidate for UK’s Brexit Party and that he remains actively involved in business and politics on both sides of the Atlantic.
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Farmer notes that Parler began as a small, start-up company that differed from online competitors, along with their commitment to the free market of ideas in the “full spirit of the First Amendment.” He said that is the reason why Parler became the “number one social media app of 2020.”
“For the past two months, I have worked with an incredible team of people, under the leadership of Mark Meckler, to bring Parler back online and return to Apple’s App Store after we had been unfairly maligned by the media and its allies in Big Tech and Congress. I look forward to leading this company into the future and continuing to offer a social media experience that respects users and their privacy, and rejects viewpoint discrimination,” Farmer said.
Apple has announced that they would readmit Parler into its iOS App Store. Meckler said they’d worked hard to address Apple’s concerns without compromising their core mission and said that anything allowed on the Parler network but not in the iOS app will remain accessible through web-based and Android versions. He called it a “win-win” for Parler users and the first Amendment.
But President Joe Biden hasn’t been as active to protect free speech from Big Tech. In fact, he’s doing the opposite. He recently rescinded Trump’s Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship,’ which would investigate Big Tech companies on their censorship policies. “The Attorney General shall establish a working group regarding the potential enforcement of State statutes that prohibit online platforms from engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices,” Trump stated in the executive order.
Several left-wing groups such as “Rock the Vote” and “Common Cause” have pushed Biden to abandon the order, insisting that it threatens the users’ ability to obtain “accurate, truthful information about voting and other civic subjects.”
But in reality, the executive order was to ensure that Big Tech companies do not moderate in an “unfair” way. Even conservative pundit Candace Owens has called on Facebook to “fact-check their fact-checkers.” As Parler fights to stay on the App Store and protect free speech, the American people must be wondering…can you do both?