disinfo 101: retreating from Twitter to where… Parler? (hahahahahaha…)

Apparently there’s RWNj demand for something that’s like Twitter but monetizes subscription scams and harvests influence among like-minded crazies. 

Parler is the RWNJ refuge from Twitter, like it makes much of a difference considering Twitter still allows Trump to tweet. So much work just so you can show reactionary “tongue-in-cheek” pictures of your guns and swear at “liberals”.

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Last Friday, fans of shock-jockery, giving offence and early seasons of The Apprentice received a major blow to their existence: Katie Hopkins, the hard-right social media personality, was permanently suspended from Twitter, the platform upon which she built her international notoriety. While celebrities typically fade into the ether when banned from social media, all was not lost in the case of Hopkins. The former MailOnline columnist appeared to swiftly pivot to a new app, Parler, which claimed to reject Twitter’s perceived culture of bans and would let her say whatever the hell she wanted.
Hopkins’ fans downloaded Parler and began following and supporting her new verified account. She posted that she was considering taking legal action against Twitter, and asked fans if they’d be willing to help fund this. Acolytes eagerly agreed and began donating to a link she posted on the site. But after $500 had been donated, it was revealed that the account was not run by Hopkins at all, but had accidentally been verified despite Parler’s allegedly flawless process. The CEO, John Matze, was forced to post a public apology. www.newstatesman.com/…

Parler just isn’t growing fast enough despite the Trump base, so this kind of disinformation can only thrive in Twitter. Trump tried to amplify it only to slide back to “lobster” marketing. Then there’s all those Saudis who got thrown off Twitter, and who are now on Parler. Trump however does get his paranoid stupidity from folks somewhere over there and those who remain in Twitter. There’s just no time left before the election for it to do anything for the Trump election campaign.

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— Paula Chertok🗽 (@PaulaChertok) June 24, 2020

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— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) June 24, 2020

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— John Dean (@JohnWDean) June 25, 2020



“Trump is going to get his fat ass kicked”.

And then there’s the litigious Nunes and his cow, both of whom are now on Parler.

EbXmXNDXkAQXD091

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— Ars Technica (@arstechnica) June 25, 2020

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— Devin Nunes' Cow (@DevinNunesCow) June 25, 2020

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— High Plains Drifter (@john_kaufman) June 26, 2020

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— Wolf Lawyer (@thewolflawyer) June 25, 2020

First note that Australian defamation law is much more plaintiff-friendly than US defamation law. A side effect of that pesky first amendment. And you can’t sidestep it with some libel tourism because Aussie defamation judgments can’t be enforced in the US. /2

Parler_logo1.png
Parler is a United States-based social networking service launched in August 2018, marketed 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-rightneo-nazianti-feminist and conspiracy theory content,[2][3][4] and far-right figures who had been removed from other platforms.[5]

But, the NSWCA just upheld the trial decision in Voller [2020] NSWCA 102. The effect of that judgment is that the owners of websites can be liable for defamation for the content users post on them.

For my American followers, it means there’s no §230 CDA equivalent in aus law. /3

So if a user defames someone on Parler and Parler is on notice of it (rest assured someone who is defamed will give notice to Parler) then Parler has two options:

1. Remove the defamatory post; or
2. Be named as a defendant.

In the first, there goes no-moderation. /4

And so let’s assume Parler sticks to its principles and stands its ground. What does that mean for the author of the defamatory comment?

Well, this gem is tucked away in the Terms and Conditions:
/5

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An Aus defamation judgment might not be enforceable in the USA but a contractual indemnity against one probably is. And so, circutiously, Parler users are exposed to SLAPP suits in the defamation capital of the world in a way that twitter users are not. /6
This explains why Devin Nunes loves it so much.

Some will say “but Parler is American, you can’t enforce a defamation judgment against them any more than an individual user”.

And sure, that’s true. Provided they never want to sell an ad or generate a single $ of profit here. /7

Nobody should read this as me advocating a new form of defamation tourism. But, absolute free speech on a commercial platform is demonstrably harder than people think. Parler shows one way to plug the leak is with your users’ money. Twitter so far hasn’t gone that route. /end

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