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Title: Parlar
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Published: Jan 11, 2021
Author: Various Authors
Post Date: 2021-01-11 04:09:11 by Gatlin
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Views: 60
Comments: 3

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#1. To: tankumo, All (#0)

Parler social network drops offline
after Amazon pulls support

Parler has dropped offline after Amazon pulled support for its so-called "free speech" social network.

The platform had been reliant on the tech giant's Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing service to provide its alternative to Twitter.

It is popular among supporters of Donald Trump, although the president is not a user.

Amazon took the action after finding dozens of posts on the service which it said encouraged violence.

Google and Apple had already removed Parler from their app stores towards the end of last week saying it had failed to comply with their content-moderation requirements.

However, it had still been accessible via the web - although visitors had complained of being unable to create new accounts over the weekend, without which it was not possible to view its content.

'All ditched us'

Parler has been online since 2018, and may return if it can find an alternative host.

However, chief executive John Matze told Fox News on Sunday that "every vendor from text message services to email providers to our lawyers all ditched us too".

"We're going to try our best to get back online as quickly as possible, but we're having a lot of trouble because every vendor we talk to says they won't work with us because if Apple doesn't approve and Google doesn't approve, they won't," he added.

AWS's move is the latest in a series of actions affecting social media following the rioting on Capitol Hill last week.

Facebook and Twitter have also banned President Trump's accounts on their platforms, citing concerns that he might incite further violence.

Parler's users included the Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who had led an effort in the Senate to delay certifying Joe Biden's electoral college victory.

He had about five million followers on the platform - more than his tally on Twitter.

"Why should a handful of Silicon Valley billionaires have a monopoly on political speech?" he tweeted over the weekend.

However, Amazon told Parler that it had seen a "steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms", adding that it did not believe the platform's administrators had an "effective process" that could tackle the problem.

Examples it provided include posts calling for the killing of Democrats, Muslims, Black Lives Matter leaders, and mainstream media journalists.

Parler's downfall appears to have benefited Gab - another "free speech" social network that is popular with far-right commentators.

It has claimed to have "gained more users in the past two days than we did in our first two years of existing".

Parler has long been a home for what you might call untouchables, people who had been excluded from mainstream services for offences such as blatant racism or incitement to violence.

During a brief excursion onto the site over the weekend, I observed plenty of examples of such behaviour, with users exhibiting vile anti- Semitism, displaying Nazi symbols such as the swastika and uttering incoherent threats against those they perceive to be enemies of America.

But as Amazon's deadline approached something like panic took hold, with users desperately urging their followers to join them on other platforms.

Most seemed to accept that Parler was doomed, while vowing to continue their fight elsewhere.

"Well this is the end," wrote one user, who proclaimed his support for the American Nazi Party.

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-55615214

Gatlin  posted on  2021-01-11   4:17:57 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: tankumo, All (#0)

Amazon, Apple, Google ban Parler app over
violent content around Capitol attack

By Stephen Shankland, Edward Moyer, Ian Sherr

Amazon, Apple and Google have banned the Parler social networking app from their respective services and app stores in the wake of Wednesday's attack on the US Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters. Parler has been rife with violent comments since before the attack on the Capitol, and Apple and Google say they'll restore the app only when Parler moderates its service better.

Parler Chief Executive John Matze posted on his service late Saturday that Amazon had informed him it would no longer host his service on its Amazon Web Services platform. The move followed earlier announcements by Apple and Google that they removed the app from their respective app stores as well.

"This was a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the marketplace," Matze wrote, adding that his service had become "too successful too fast." He didn't initially address his platform's comparatively lax moderation rules or its use by extremists ahead of the Capitol Hill riot. He also didn't mention increasing concerns that social media apps, including Parler, were being used to organize another attack in the coming weeks.

And on Sunday evening, Matze added in a press statement that the company is working to improve moderation to remove prohibited content such as posts that incite or threaten violence. "Parler strives to bring people together and find common ground, peace and healing. We do not condone or accept violence on our platform and we never will," Matze said.

Amazon didn't respond to a request for comment.

Apple, Google banish Parler app

Earlier on Saturday, Apple said in a statement that it had banned Parler from its App Store because it failed to appropriately police content posted by users.

Apple has "always supported diverse points of view being represented on the App Store, but there is no place on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity," the company said. "Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people's safety. We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues."

The App Store is the only way to distribute apps to iPhones, so banishment poses a serious challenge to online services, though they can often still be reached through websites.

Apple's move followed Google's decision on Friday to remove Parler's Android app from its Play Store for similar reasons.

"We're aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the US," Google said. "We recognize that there can be reasonable debate about content policies and that it can be difficult for apps to immediately remove all violative content, but for us to distribute an app through Google Play, we do require that apps implement robust moderation for egregious content."

Google's ban won't impact Parler as much as Apple's because Android users can "sideload" apps without going through the Play Store. The ability is disabled by default, however.

Deplatforming a platform

The modern internet provides an abundance of platforms to directly communicate to millions of people, and it's proved challenging to balance the benefits of online discussion with the drawbacks.

Matze had posted warnings his app might be removed from Amazon's web services after a group of employees called on the company to act. "We cannot be complicit in more bloodshed and violent attacks on our democracy," Amazon employees wrote in a tweet.

Less than a day later, they declared victory. "We demanded Amazon deplatform white supremacists using tech we work on as a bullhorn to incite violence and attack our democracy," the group said.

In Apple's case, the iPhone maker sent Parler a warning letter on Friday, according to Buzzfeed, demanding the app improve its moderation.

"We have received numerous complaints regarding objectionable content in your Parler service, accusations that the Parler app was used to plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal activities in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021 that led (among other things) to loss of life, numerous injuries, and the destruction of property. The app also appears to continue to be used to plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities," Apple reportedly said to Parler. "If we do not receive an update compliant with the App Store Review Guidelines and the requested moderation improvement plan in writing within 24 hours, your app will be removed from the App Store."

In a follow-up letter Saturday to Parler's developers, Apple said it was still seeing unacceptable content on Parler.

"In your response, you referenced that Parler has been taking this content 'very seriously for weeks,'" Apple wrote. "However, the processes Parler has put in place to moderate or prevent the spread of dangerous and illegal content have proved insufficient. Specifically, we have continued to find direct threats of violence and calls to incite lawless action."

And an apparent plan put forward by Parler didn't satisfy Apple.

"Your response also references a moderation plan 'for the time being,' which does not meet the ongoing requirements" in the App Store's guidelines, Apple wrote. "While there is no perfect system to prevent all dangerous or hateful user content, apps are required to have robust content moderation plans in place to proactively and effectively address these issues. A temporary 'task force' is not a sufficient response given the widespread proliferation of harmful content."

Parler didn't respond to a request for comment on Apple's ban either.

In a Parler post on Friday, Matze challenged Apple's position and said Apple doesn't hold Twitter or Facebook to the same standard. "Apparently they believe Parler is responsible for ALL user generated content on Parler," he said. "By the same logic, Apple must be responsible for ALL actions taken by their phones. Every car bomb, every illegal cell phone conversation, every illegal crime committed on an iPhone, Apple must also be responsible for."

Apple didn't respond to a request for comment on Matze's remarks.

Content crackdown on social media The biggest example of deplatforming happened Friday when Twitter permanently suspended Trump's account "due to the risk of further incitement of violence."

Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump's Twitter account on Friday.

After the insurrection at the Capitol, which led to deaths, vandalism and the evacuation of Congress -- not to mention the insult to a national and international symbol of democracy -- social media sites have been taking a harder stance against activity they see as dangerous. Facebook and Instagram blocked Trump from new posts "indefinitely." Reddit cut off The_Donald, a major right-wing discussion forum, and Twitter banned several high-profile accounts associated with the right- wing, bogus QAnon conspiracy theory.

In a Friday tweet, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a prominent New York Democrat, called for Google and Apple to take action after reported calls for violence on Parler.

Parler's growing importance

Parler is growing in importance to right-wing activists as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have put the kibosh on Trump's social media accounts after loyalists stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.

"Our investigation has found that Parler is not effectively moderating and removing content that encourages illegal activity and poses a serious risk to the health and safety of users in direct violation of your own terms of service," Apple reportedly told Parler on Friday, citing a handful of examples purportedly showing violent threats. "Content of this dangerous and harmful nature is not appropriate for the App Store. As you know from prior conversations with App Review, Apple requires apps with user generated content to effectively moderate to ensure objectionable, potentially harmful content is filtered out. Content that threatens the well being of others or is intended to incite violence or other lawless acts has never been acceptable on the App Store."

https://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-apple-google-ban-parler-app- over-violent-content-around-capitol-attack/

Gatlin  posted on  2021-01-11   4:29:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: tankumo, All (#0)

Bill Gates says social media platform
Parler’s content has some ‘crazy stuff’

By Jade Scipioni

Post-election, many conservatives, and some extremists, have been heading to Parler, a conservative social media app funded by Republican megadonor Rebekah Mercer, which bills itself as a free speech Twitter- spin off.

But billionaire Bill Gates isn’t a fan of the platform, calling some of its content “crazy stuff.”

If somebody goes to Parler, they are saying, “I like crazy stuff,” Gates said Tuesday at The New York Times DealBook Summit. “If you want Holocaust denial, hey, Parler is going to be great for you,” Gates said.

(In October, Facebook announced a ban on content denying or distorting the Holocaust, classifying it as hate speech. Parler, however, does not police any content on its platform, so popular but controversial topics that appear on the site include voter fraud, Holocaust denial and anti- Semitic remarks, according to the Anti-Defamation League.)

Parler, which was founded by Mercer, John Matze and Jared Thomson in 2018, was the most downloaded app for both Android and iPhone users during the week of Nov. 9 to Nov. 15, according to SensorTower, a marketing intelligence company that tracks app downloads. For the week starting on Nov. 16, Parler has so far fallen to No. 2 among Android users and No. 11 among iPhone users.

The app has attracted the likes Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and celebrities Kristie Alley and Scott Baio. On Nov. 12, Wired reported that Parler grew from 4.5 million users to more than 8 million, compared to Twitter’s 330 million users and Facebook’s more than 2 billion.

Many high-profile conservatives have been urging their followers to join Parler after Twitter and Facebook have been adding alerts to posts that spread misinformation, including to posts shared by President Donald Trump about election and voter fraud.

Gates, who has been targeted by online anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists (who believe Gates is trying to microchip humans through coronavirus vaccines, an accusation to which there is no truth), said there needs to be regulation to manage misinformation on social media platforms.

“Facebook services are the primary way people access news and they get drawn in to more and more extreme stories, including some of these anti- vaccines or conspiracy things,” Gates said at DealBook.

“So that person who hasn’t started out saying, ‘I want crazy stuff,’ they get drawn down and see things that are very titillating and that is where it is almost a human weakness,” Gates said.

Asking social media platforms to “be the arbiter of all these things is pretty tough,” Gates said. But over the last few months, particularly around medical information, Gates said social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have been doing a better job at screening posts and adding labels to misinformation.

“I think we are sort of finding our way, which will be either leave it alone all the time or strict liability, which you know if you got strict liability, it’s not clear that they can even stay in business,” Gates said at DealBook. (Strict liability is a legal construct that holds a party responsible for injuries caused by its actions or products, without the need for negligence or fault.)

A spokesperson for Twitter tells CNBC Make It that its users are the ones who requested “more context around high profile content that has the potential to cause offline harm, particularly around elections.”

Representatives for Parler and Facebook did not immediately respond to Make It’s request for comment.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/18/bill-gates- comments-on-social-media-platform-parler.html

Gatlin  posted on  2021-01-11   4:38:12 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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