Following a day of shocking censorship, bans, and suspensions of prominent conservative voices, many frustrated users of social media giant Twitter declared their intent to abandon the site. Twitter and its founder CEO Jack Dorsey have been the subject of constant criticism for years over accusations of extreme leftwing bias on the site. Now, it seems, that bias may have finally gone too far.
Twitter regulators have issued bans, suspensions, and rule violation orders to prominent conservative voices for years, which typically come with extremely vague explanations. Yesterday, Twitter issued a "content warning" for a tweet by President Trump, asserting that it violated rules of "abusive behavior" on the platform.
"We’ve placed a public interest notice on this Tweet for violating our policy against abusive behavior, specifically, the presence of a threat of harm against an identifiable group," the warning read. The presidential tweet in question:
There will never be an “Autonomous Zone” in Washington, D.C., as long as I’m your President. If they try they will be met with serious force!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 23, 2020
The tweet was not taken off of the website and neither was the warning, even after scores of users said the president was simply saying he would enforce the law of the land against radicals attempting to occupy parts of the nation's capital. Users noted that such a warning, which concealed the tweet from public view, was tantamount to election meddling on the part of Twitter.
Later in the day, one of Trump's strongest social media supporters, comedian and meme-master Carpe Donktum, received a "Permanent Suspension," ostensibly for being the subject of one-too-many copyright complaints by unknown sources. Donktum, whose medium is very obvious satire, meant to support the president, contended that his memes were simply fair use parodies. Twitter did not further elaborate on their decision.
Following Donktum's ejection Tuesday afternoon, many prominent conservative writers and media personalities began to suggest leaving Twitter for another social media site, Parler. Founded in 2018, Parler promises users to be a haven of free speech that will not censor users based on political bias.
By Tuesday evening, "Parler" began trending on Twitter with more than 100,000 unique tweets. The following morning, nearly 250,000 people on Twitter had declared their interest in leaving Twitter for Parler.
To the many people asking, yes, I am over at @parler_app Parler. Joined recently when Twitter first ramped up its brazen and unethical 2020 election interference. I'm still figuring out the system. You can follow me there when you sign up. https://t.co/zoQA4EIMW4— Mollie (@MZHemingway) June 24, 2020
On Parler at @kurtschlichter...— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) June 24, 2020
It’s a thing...
Yup, I’m on #Parler ... same Politibunny and everything. :) See you guys there. ??????— The??FOO (@PolitiBunny) June 24, 2020
I'm on Parler as @seanmdav. Be sure to follow me there if you're sick and tired of the constant attempts by Twitter's incompetent left-wing executives to turn everything into a thoughtcrime. https://t.co/IXrt70lWag— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) June 24, 2020
Later on Wednesday, a call to action from The Federalist writer and noted attorney Margot Cleveland suggested a full day boycott of Twitter and a mass movement to Parler.
CALL TO ACTION: Let's make Friday #FreeSpeechFriday #TwitterFaceOffFriday and all go silent on Twitter but very active on Parler. Spend Friday at Parler becoming familiar with the site & finding your follows and engaging there. Today & tomorrow to open Parler account & share.— Margot Cleveland (@ProfMJCleveland) June 24, 2020
Thousands of users shared Cleveland's invitation while Parler activity significantly increased throughout the day. The boycott will be one of the first significant attempts to drive users to another social media platform that functions similarly to Twitter, who has dominated the market with limited character posts, "Retweets," "Likes," and "Blue Check" thought leaders since 2006.
Parler called for a "Twexit" mass exodus from Twitter late last week issuing its own "Declaration of Independence" that promised all users access to free speech.
"Twitter long ceased to be a public square. They are now merely a publisher. And a bad, biased publisher at that,” the Parler "Declaration" said. “They have become a tech tyrant, stepping on our freedoms to push their agenda driven narrative."