Updated: Feb 4, 2021
In the past decade social media has become the go to source for information. According to the Pew Research Center, "One-in-five get their political news from social media" while the actual number is 18% of Americans this trend is growing. In some ways this is a good thing, people have access to a variety of information that in the past was not available unless you subscribed to specific print outlets like newspapers and magazines, had cable/satellite TV, or attended trade shows/conventions. In fact if you needed information, like the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of Zambia you had to visit a library and even then the publication may be a few years old. Now to find information one can simply Google it. With such an amazing power one would believe people would be better informed. Sadly this is the exact opposite because anyone with a computer can now post "information" and everyone has the ability to subscribe to the things they feel are important not publishers, producers, or other gatekeepers.
There are rules Any content that you post to the Services must satisfy all of the following criteria, and you affirm that any content posted, submitted, or otherwise provided by you to the Services satisfies these criteria: 2 4.1 You have the legal right to post the content to the Services. 4.2 The content and the purpose for posting it complies with all laws, rules, and regulations that may apply. 4.3 The content does not infringe the intellectual property rights (such as copyrights and trademark rights) of any other person or entity. 4.4 The content does not include non-public personal private information belonging to someone else, such as another person’s birthdate, home address, or telephone number. 4.5 The content complies with the Parler Community Guidelines. You are responsible for your use of the Services and for any content that you post. Parler does not endorse, support, represent, or affirm the completeness, truthfulness, accuracy, or reliability of any of the content posted through the Services, nor does Parler endorse any opinions expressed through the Services. All content is the sole responsibility of the person who originated the content, and Parler does not take responsibility for such content. 4.6 With respect to any content you contribute that uses YouTube services via Parler, you affirm that—in addition to complying with Parler's own Terms and Community Guidelines—you are also complying with YouTube's more restrictive Terms. (Users are encouraged to use Parler's own native video capabilities whenever they wish to avoid the application of these more restrictive terms.)
Your photos, videos, and ideas are not yours According to Parler's User Agreement, "You grant to Parler a license to any content posted by you to the Services, including a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute your content. You agree that Parler or its service providers or partners may display advertising in connection with your content and otherwise monetize your content without compensation to you. You warrant that you have all rights necessary to grant these rights to Parler and Parler users. You also grant a limited non-exclusive, royalty-free license to any user of the Services to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display, and distribute any content posted by you to the Services solely in connection with that users use of the Services. The licenses granted by you hereunder do not include any moral rights or right of attribution." Your memes could be a problem According to the user agreement, "Copyright infringement is not allowed on the Services, and Parler will, in appropriate circumstances, terminate the account of any repeat infringer. If your copyright has been infringed by any content on the Services and you did not grant a license for this use by uploading your copyrighted work to the Services, you may submit a notice that meets all of the requirements of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), 17 U.S.C 512(c)(3), to our Copyright Manager at email@example.com or 209 S. Stephanie St., B135, Henderson, NV 89012. Your notice must include: (1) electronic or physical signature of the copyrighted work owner (or person authorized by the copyright owner), (2) a description of the copyrighted work, including the URL where the infringing content is available, or a copy of it, (3) contact details of the person submitting the notice, including email address, telephone, and mailing address, (4) statement in “good faith belief” that the work is not authorized by the copyright owner, and (5) a statement by the sender that all of the above information is accurate, and that the person sending the notice is either the copyright owner or is authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner. Upon receiving a notice satisfying these requirements, Parler will take whatever action, in its sole discretion, it deems appropriate, including removal of the challenged content from the services."
Your posts can still be removed and you can be kicked out
According to the user agreement, "Parler may remove any content and terminate your access to the Services at any time and for any reason to the extent Parler reasonably believes (a) you have violated these Terms or Parler’s Community Guidelines, (b) you create risk or possible legal exposure for Parler, or (c) you are otherwise engaging in unlawful conduct—although Parler endeavors to allow all free speech that is lawful and does not infringe the legal rights of others. Any invitation made by Parler to you to use the Services or submit content to the Services, or the fact that Parler may receive a benefit from your use of the Services or provision of content to the Services, will not obligate Parler to maintain any content or maintain your access to the Services. Parler will have no liability to you for removing any content, for terminating your access to the Services, or for modifying or terminating the Services."
Parler can change the rules "Parler may modify the Terms of this User Agreement in any way and at any time without notice to you, and you agree to be responsible for making yourself aware of any modification of the Terms and to be bound by any modification of the Terms when you continue to access or use the Services after any such modification. As a matter of courtesy, Parler endeavors to inform its users of any such changes. These Terms supersede all prior agreements between you and Parler pertaining to the Services. 6 Except for the statements in this document and the documents expressly incorporated herein by reference, no statement by Parler or anyone associated with Parler, whether verbal or written, can modify or supplement the Terms of this User Agreement unless the modification or supplement is stated expressly in writing by referring to this User Agreement. If any of the Terms in the User Agreement are held to be invalid or unenforceable by a court or arbitrator or by operation of law, the remaining Terms will remain in effect."
Free Speech means All Speech
The biggest reason some folks are flocking to Parler is the belief other social media, like Facebook or Twitter, is limiting speech because there has been a big push to expose misinformation via third party fact checkers. In their opinion these fact checkers have an agenda or worse, are part of a grand conspiracy to undermine freedom and democracy. While this can be a valid claim, some voices shouldn't been heard among these are those calling for violence, slander of private individuals, and porn. These three things may appear if a subscriber doesn't monitor their follows closely.
Parler is at the Whim of Others
Unlike Facebook or Twitter that have their own servers, Parler is renting theirs from Amazon. In response of the storming of the US Capitol building on Jan. 7th, 2020 by Donald Trump loyalists. Amazon has cited Parler with a violation of their terms and shut the servers that were hosting Parler's service. This has affected it's 10 million subscribers. FAIR USE NOTE: All .gifs are screen shots from "The Pirates of the Caribbean" movie franchise owned and copyrighted by Disney. Use of these elements are used to inform the public on a current news item that the overall public is interested in. No copyright violation is intended by Woodruff Media Management. To learn more about Fair Use criteria please visit https://www.copyright.gov/fair-use/more-info.html
Sources: https://www.journalism.org/2020/07/30/americans-who-mainly-get-their-news-on-social-media-are-less-engaged-less-knowledgeable/ http://legal.parler.com/documents/guidelines.pdf (Accessed 11/10/20) http://legal.parler.com/documents/useragreement.pdf (Accessed 11/10/20) https://www.facebook.com/journalismproject/programs/third-party-fact-checking https://www.newsweek.com/parler-social-media-facebook-twitter-far-right-trump-supporters-john-matze-jared-thomson-1513378 https://www.infowars.com/posts/twitter-facebook-will-censor-election-related-posts/ https://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp http://handbook.reuters.com/index.php?title=Legal_guidance https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/12/02/parler-pornography-problem/ https://www.businessinsider.com/parler-offline-outage-amazon-servers-2021-1