By: Grant Atkinson
In the wake of the Jan. 6 incursion into the Capitol building, Big Tech decided to use the event as an excuse to silence conservative voices.
This eventually led to the smaller social media app Parler being effectively shut down by companies like Apple, Google and Amazon.
Now, Parler is back, and executives at the company are returning with a vengeance.
According to the Daily Caller, Amazon Web Services stopped powering Parler on Jan. 10 in response to the Capitol incursion. However, on Monday Parler announced its return with a new provider “built on sustainable, independent technology and not reliant on so-called ‘Big Tech’ for its operations.”
Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg had previously blamed Parler for playing a role in the incursion, according to a separate Daily Caller article. However, newly surfaced evidence indicates that most of the planning for the event happened on Facebook.
Mark Meckler, the interim CEO for Parler, said he is not ruling out legal action against those at Facebook for their hypocrisy.
“Well certainly Sheryl Sandberg ought to check her own house before she points her fingers elsewhere, and frankly I think she knew d*** well what was going on,” he said.
Since Parler advertises itself as a platform strongly in favor of free speech, many conservatives found a home there. This was especially true as more well-known companies like Twitter and Facebook began censoring prominent conservative voices, including former President Donald Trump.
From the beginning, the liberal Big Tech companies had a vendetta against Parler. They saw the company as a threat, and they disliked the conservative users that Parler became synonymous with.
With that in mind, it is not too much of a stretch to say that Meckler may have a point. Facebook was looking for an excuse to shut down Parler, and the Capitol incursion provided just that.
Unfortunately for Facebook, Sandberg was so quick to accuse Parler of foul play that she did not take the time to review her own platform. If she had, the company would have found that much of the planning for Jan. 6 happened on its own watch.
According to Forbes, the “Program on Extremism at the George Washington University” reviewed a list of “more than 200 charging documents filed in relation to the siege.”
The program found that 73 of the documents referenced Facebook, which was more than three times the number of mentions for the second most-cited platform of YouTube. Parler was mentioned in only eight of the documents.
Besides accusing Parler of allowing planning for the event, another line of attack from Big Tech companies was that the app was allowing active calls for violence on the platform. It turns out similar calls also appeared on Facebook, according to Forbes.
The outlet detailed a particular post that included an image of a bullet and said, “By Bullet or Ballot, Restoration of the Republic is Coming.”
It’s clear that Facebook was not interested in applying the same standards to itself as it applied to Parler. Instead, the company was more concerned with shutting down its competition.
Despite such efforts, Parler is back, and the platform is even open to allowing other silenced conservatives to once again have a voice. Namely, Meckler said Parler would not be opposed to Trump himself having a profile on the app.
“As long as he follows our community guidelines, we’d be happy to have Donald Trump on the platform,” he said, according to the Daily Caller.
In trying to shut down conservative voices, Big Tech may have just lent even more power to its conservative media counterparts.