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 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.”