Using a dictionary that researchers use to rate words for positivity or negativity, USA TODAY examined a trove of 80,146 Parler posts captured by analysts at the Social Media Analysis Toolkit before Parler went offline. The posts run from 9 a.m. when Trump supporters ramped up their Save America rally in Washington to 2:30 p.m. when the Capitol was under full siege.
To assess what was driving changes in sentiment, the news organization also examined words and phrases that gained the most as a share of Parler traffic over time.
The analysis found a pronounced decline in the mood on Parler during Trump’s time on stage. The term “civil war” moved up as a share of all phrases in use, joining a volatile mix of words in use that day focusing on election fraud and Republican leaders considered disloyal to the cause.
Along with “President Trump,” “American people” and “God Bless,” “civil war” was among the top five most frequently mentioned phrases overall on Parler between 12:15 p.m. and 1:15 p.m., as some Trump followers were already assembling in front of the Capitol. Among the fastest rising phrases after 12:15 p.m., “civil war” made No.1 – followed by “voting machines,” “president elect,” and “Mitch McConnell.”