Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing?Psalm 2:1,4
He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
Preparing to write a post earlier today, I needed one more piece of information. When I opened Google to search for it, I found the top article Google always provides of “newsworthy articles” for my reading under the search window, one from Politico with the title:
Having just joined Parler, I took a minute to read the article and found it is written by a left-winger whose determination to slam the site and conservative users left me with the best belly laugh I’ve had lately. If anything, my guess is the article will garner support for Parler from folks who are getting fed up with the way news outlets and social media are trying to cover up the truth and the FACTS concerning Election 2020. Was the author actually for real or a closet conservative writing with tongue in cheek by stating a true fact concerning the right and then slamming the right with left verbiage in the same breath? You be the judge.
Since the election, President Donald Trump and his allies have faced fact-checks, condemnation, and restrictions when trying to spread inconclusive evidence of voter fraud and leftist violence on social media.
But over on Parler, there’s a new, millions-strong MAGA universe where conservatives are freely spreading these claims and reinforcing their belief that Democrats have stolen the election from Trump.
Hashtags on Parler denoting Trump’s favorite conspiracy theories — #Dominion, #Sharpiegate, #QAnon — trend freely, without the restrictions Twitter and Facebook have instituted to suppress them. Stories from fringe sites pushing baseless allegations of voter fraud are not flagged as disinformation, as they often are elsewhere. Videos from the Million MAGA March depicting heated confrontations between MAGA supporters, counter-protesters and D.C. police are shared as evidence of rampant antifa violence, omitting necessary context that would show otherwise.
The set-up gives MAGA conservatives an easy way to simply dismiss the post-election beliefs of the public at large, the widely accepted reports in mainstream news outlets and the word of experts (Breaking in here to say someone seems to believe everything but the actual facts – unless of course, this article is a spoof against reality-NM) and even some government officials. There is now a robust, consequence-free echo chamber for them that confirms a worldview in which a rigged election system falsely gave Biden a victory, and leftist thugs are taking to the streets to ensure the outcome isn’t overturned. And with over 4 million new downloads since Election Day — nearly doubling the site’s user base — that echo chamber is expanding rapidly.
“It’s fitting that it offers disaffected Trump supporters the allure of the safest of safe spaces,” said Angelo Carusone, the president of the progressive-leaning group Media Matters, which monitors far-right media across platforms. “It’s perfect because Parler provides a place free from constraint and heavily stocked up on like-minded [MAGA] heads.”
Ever since its launch in 2018, Parler has existed in a boom-bust cycle — constantly promising to be the “free speech” alternative to places like Twitter and Facebook.
Virtually every time there has been a blowup in the press over social media companies moderating conservative content, big-name populists would publicly proclaim they were leaving the platforms, urging their followers to follow them to Parler. Usually, however, they would return to their regular Twitter schedules and Facebook posts within weeks, engaging with their exponentially larger audiences on those platforms.
The result was that Parler became what Trump-supporting One America News Network correspondent Jack Posobiec called a never-ending “Trump rally” — a completely pro-Trump room.
But it was a relatively small room until the election.
“The self-segmenting of this group to Parler will intensify their extremism. No doubt about that.” – Angelo Carusone, Media Matters
In the aftermath of Trump’s defeat, the app rocketed to the top of the Google and Apple app stores, a reaction, in part, to the heightened fact-checking Twitter was conducting on the untrue voter fraud claims the president and his allies were circulating.
“Parler’s positioning as a receptacle for Trump’s MAGA supporters is part of a longstanding trend of conservatives threatening a Twitter exodus over claims of censorship and persecution,” said Karim Zidan, a journalist with the left-leaning watchdog group Right Wing Watch. “Twitter’s heavy moderation of posts involving election-fraud conspiracy theories and disinformation has caused MAGA supporters to slowly transition to Parler under the guise of free speech.”
A pro-Trump platform for MAGA people to punish Twitter was not the way that Parler marketed itself when it launched. Indeed, earlier this year, CEO and founder John Matze offered a $20,000 “bounty” to any progressive pundits with a following of 50,000 or more Twitter followers who switched platforms — an attempt to bring some monetizable, partisan internet fights to the platform. But up until the election, the site was largely populated with Republican politicians and top conservatives of MAGA internet squatting on their accounts to prevent impostors.
In recent weeks, however, the site has become a central hub for Trump followers scouring for evidence of the widespread voter-fraud they are alleging.
Some of the far-right journalists covering these claims on Twitter — and frequently overstating the conclusions of their reports — have even directed followers to migrate to their Parler accounts for the unvarnished story.
“In the event I’m censored covering the Georgia recount please follow me on Parler as well,” tweeted Heather Mullins, a reporter for the conservative outlet Real America’s Voice who Trump has retweeted several times since the election.
Over on Parler, dozens of top MAGA influencers are posting debunked claims about Dominion and Smartmatic, two voting technology companies, “deleting” hundreds of thousands of Trump votes.
And people on the site have in recent days started attacking Fox News host Tucker Carlson after he aired a segment pointing out that Sidney Powell, one of the lawyers leading Trump’s court battle to overturn the election, had refused to give him evidence to back up the Dominion claims.
In a sign of the split between Twitter and Parler, Carlson’s takedown went viral on Twitter, while a video of Powell rebutting Carlson on Fox Business Network has spread everywhere on Parler.
Parler also hosted dozens of videos from the Million MAGA March, the pro-Trump demonstration that took place outside the White House last Saturday. The clips were circulated in an attempt to prove the danger of antifa agents and Black Lives Matter activists attacking MAGA acolytes, calling the clashes “terror attacks.” One video in particular went viral, depicting what appeared to be left-wing activists, unprovoked, beating up a Trump supporter.
When the same videos circulated on Twitter, others attempted to point out some missing context.
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For instance, the investigative journalist Robert Evans with Bellingcat, an outlet focused on fact-checking and examining open-sourced intelligence, noted the viral video failed to show the apparent Trump supporter first appearing “to shove, strike and threaten a number of people before being brutally assaulted himself.”
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According to police records from the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, the event did not appear to be rife with violence. The department said there were 21 arrests at the event, only a handful of which were for potentially violent incidents. One man was arrested for launching a firework at the protesters, according to police records. Another man from Staten Island was arrested after police said he attacked a would-be thief with a flagpole. Four more people got nabbed for attempting — and failing — to incite violence, records show. And after a Georgia couple who came to “support their president” was arrested for openly carrying semi-automatic weapons.
While the records are not a comprehensive accounting of the day’s skirmishes — other instances likely occurred without police intervention or simply went unnoticed — they do not show any major street brawls, looting or smashed windows, as people on Parler were insinuating.
Parler’s underlying energy also comes from MAGA influencers who have been deplatformed elsewhere and found a new home at Parler.
“Thank you to all my amazing supporters; here, online and in the streets,” posted Hopkins, a British commentator who had been permanently suspended from Twitter after she violated the company’s hate-speech policy in July. Her ban had cost her over a million followers, but she was clawing back: she now had 421,000 followers on Parler.
Parler’s biggest victory post-election, however, was that higher-profile conservatives and lawmakers started engaging frequently with the site. After previously treating their presence on the app as perfunctory, GOP politicians and top conservatives are now bolting to the Parler bunker, as they increasingly see their tweets get labeled — and invalidated — as misinformation on Twitter.
Often, these people present the migration as a matter of making sure their voices are heard, in case, as conservative radio host Mark Levin put it, Facebook and Twitter “continue censoring me.”
Whether Parler can actually scale and present a reliable challenge to Twitter or Facebook is another question, though. It could simply go the way of other right-wing media projects and remain ostensibly on the fringe.
“The self-segmenting of this group to Parler will intensify their extremism. No doubt about that,” said Carusone, of Media Matters. “But it will also weaken the influence of the right-wing by siphoning off a segment of users, many of whom will be the most engaged users.”
And it can’t replace an effective legal strategy to challenge the election. Republican lawsuits thus far have failed to make any progress in reversing the initial vote tally.
It’s a point that even some pro-Trump allies are making. During a Nov. 13 appearance on Fox Business Network, GOP Congressman Devin Nunes was parrying questions from Lou Dobbs, a nominally Trump-friendly anchor, who asked him bluntly if the GOP had a legal plan to save Trump.
“In order to win these battles,” Nunes said, “we have to have a place to communicate. When you ask, what are we doing now, that’s why millions of Americans are flooding over to Parler. They’re flooding over to Rumble.”
“Good lord, congressman,” Dobbs responded. “With all due respect, congressman, and I respect the hell out of you — pushing Parler and Rumble is not an answer to what I’m asking.”
I may have been shaking with laughter over this self-righteous attempt to smear those standing for allowing truth and freedom to ring out in this nation, but as the Scripture quote says at the top of this page:
Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing?
He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
Today’s prayer from Give Him 15:
A prayer you can pray:
Father, stir us up in our faith. It is time to go into the most heated week of spiritual battle we have faced yet. Right when others are getting ready to relax, You are calling a remnant to press in. You are standing up and You are shaking, shaking, shaking everything in the natural pertaining to this election. You are shaking key states. You will shake laws. You will shake governors, legislators, and courts. You are shaking out fraud. You are shaking out lies from the top to the bottom. You are shaking out the whistleblowers and they will come forward by the thousands. They will not just come from the six states in contention currently. We pray they will come from many states and say what they have seen.
Most importantly, You are going to shake those that devised these plans of wickedness. Those that planned this coup against President Donald John Trump and the United States of America. They are going to be found out. Let them fear the Lord God Almighty, Maker of the Heavens and the Earth. It is time for their pride to be cut off. It is time for them to see who they have been plotting and planning against. You will no longer be mocked. This is Your covenant nation, Lord. These are Your promises and people. You have not forgotten us. We will war with You in Jesus’ Holy Name. Amen.
God bless you always,
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