THE rise of social media has forever altered the way society works, revolutionising communication and playing a major role in the polarisation of politics and opinion. Now a new player has entered the fray - Parler.



It isn’t new so much, having launched in August 2018, but it was largely under the radar until recent days when events saw its profile rocket and membership surge.


You don’t ‘tweet’…

…you ‘Parley’. It is a similar style to Twitter, with users posting ‘Parleys’ that can draw comments, be voted on or “echoed” in the way you might retweet on Twitter.


What’s it about?

From the beginning, the US-based app - with about a million users - marketed itself as a defiant alternative to Twitter, saying it was a "non-biased free speech driven entity”. Its website states plainly: “We are not regulators. We are not governors. We are a community. Parler accepts your right to express your thoughts, opinions and ideals online.”


Despite these claims?

The fact it offers such sweeping freedom of speech has sparked concerns it is a magnet for the far right to let loose.


So why the profile rise?

It has suddenly found itself in the spotlight and experienced an uptick in members partly due to the actions of Twitter. The latter suspended former Apprentice star turned far-right commentator, Katie Hopkins, permanently for breaking its rules on hate speech.



Hopkins appeared to join Parler, ready to take advantage of its free speech approach. Supporters followed her verified account, agreeing to donate to a link she seemingly posted on the site for help with legal action against Twitter. However, after hundreds of pounds had been donated, it emerged the account was not Hopkins' and had been accidentally verified. Hopkins now has a real account with around 120,000 followers.


It comes as…

Twitter keep on President Trump’s case, last week posting a large warning label stating “manipulated media” on a video he tweeted, having previously added fact-checking verification notices to his tweets in May and also hidden some of his tweets behind a warning.


As a result…

His Conservative followers Stateside have been pushing Parler as an alternative, even using Twitter to promote their new Parler accounts as they use the hashtag “#Twexit”. As just one example, US political commentator, Mollie Hemingway, of online magazine The Federalist, tweeted: "Joined [Parler] recently when Twitter first ramped up its brazen and unethical 2020 election interference.”



In the US, many of Trump’s cabal have joined, including his son Eric and daughter-in-law, Lara Trump and the president’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale.


In the UK?

Accounts are on Parler attributed to Michael Gove, with 3,400 followers and his wife, columnist Sarah Vine, who has nearly 5,000, while accounts have also been made for MPs including Ben Bradley and Angela Richardson, although none of these have yet been verified with a Parler ‘P' as a hallmark of legitimacy.



An estimated 200,000 Brits have signed up in recent days. The platform’s US founder, John Matze, posted: “We are so happy to welcome our new UK friends to Parler as the movement continues to grow worldwide.”