Since the election, Facebook and Twitter have labeled over a dozen posts by Trump and penalized some of his high-ranking campaign members and at least one family member. Facebook also took down a “Stop the Steal” network, which promoted dozens of stories with unfounded claims of voter fraud, tied to Trump’s former chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon late Monday.
One sign of the impact of these actions is the renewed interest in Parler, which became the top new app download over the weekend on Apple’s App Store. The app, which has a free-speech doctrine and has already become a haven for groups and individuals kicked off Facebook, experienced its largest number of single-day downloads on Nov. 8, when about 636,000 people installed it, according to market research firm Sensor Tower. Parler now boasts 7.6 million user accounts compared with 4.5 million about a week ago, said chief operating officer and investor Jeffrey Wernick.
The reaction by some users to Facebook’s and Twitter’s actions to prevent the spread of misinformation related to allegations of election fraud helps highlight the fragmented nature of the current political divide, as many liberals celebrate a new president-elect and many conservatives hold out hope that a legal challenge to the election could prevail. That partisan expectation extends even to Congress, where Republican senators recently questioned tech executives about perceived anti-conservative bias and censorship once again, despite scant evidence to support It.