In the aftermath of the January 6, 2020 riot and breaching of the U.S. Capitol building by Qanon and other elements of the pro-Trump, alt-right movements, tech giants like Amazon, Google, and Apple appear to have coordinated their efforts to eliminate the growing social media startup, Parler. Within hours of actions taken by the Google and Apple app stores to remove the Parler mobile app from their services, Amazon, who owns the internet backbone upon which Parler relied, ended Parler’s use of Amazon Web Services. Applauded by many as actions that will end the use of the Parler service by extremist elements, and decried by many as big tech tyranny designed to destroy free speech, the actions dominated the news cycle for several days.
But you aren’t being told the entire story
When Twitter and Facebook began censoring and refuting election claims made by President Trump and others on the political right, many began migrating to Parler, which billed itself as a free speech, pro-First Amendment, conservative alternative to what is perceived, not entirely inaccurately, as liberal-controlled platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The right claimed for years, also not inaccurately, that those social media giants were selective in their censorship, ignoring the political rhetoric and calls to violence of the political left while suspending, silencing, or banning similar political speech from the right.
During and after the chaos of the 6th, Parler, because of its primarily conservative and alt-right usage, was singled out and targeted for destruction. It was a knee-jerk reaction that has the potential for destroying this relatively small platform. Although I believe it will be the impetus for added investment and the building of their own systems and services to replace the tech giants and will perhaps result in Parler being even stronger, I personally believe the attempted destruction of Parler is an attack that is improperly launched. Here is what I know about the Qanon movement, affiliated groups, and social media.
Most in Qanon rejected Parler
There was a mistaken belief among Qanon that Parler required you to send them your ID in order to join. Although this was required if you wanted a verified account on Parler, a standard sign-up required little more than an email address or phone number, just like Twitter and Facebook. To be verified on Parler and receive a verified logo on your profile, you are required to provide government issued ID to their verification service. Although verified using real ID, your account did not have to be under your real name. You could still use a pseudonym even though you were verified under your actual identity.
In other words, Parler’s verification process was actually more intensive than Facebook or Twitter for verified accounts. A “Blue Check” on Twitter has nothing to do with Twitter verifying your identity using actual documentation, for instance. For the privacy-conscious, anonymity seeking, free-speech, government surveillance-opposing Qanon, this was a very bad thing in which to take part. They saw it as a trap that would potentially put all of them into a government surveillance basket online. Yes, a lot of those in Qanon actually read the requirements and terms of service and figured out this wasn’t the case, joining Parler with unverified accounts, but many avoided Parler as a deep state sting operation.
They organized this event right on Twitter and Facebook
As I stated in previous articles, I have been following Qanon and other extremist elements online for quite some time. In all those months of embedding myself into their discussions, creating anonymous accounts, and reporting potential hazards to the platforms, Parler wasn’t even in my social media arsenal. The only time I even saw a Parler post being passed around was if someone took a screenshot and shared it on Twitter. Ali Alexander, one of the major organizers for the Stop The Steal campaign, did all of his coordination with his followers on Twitter and Periscope, a live streaming service owned by Twitter. For the record, Ali is not a Qanon adherent. In fact, the Qanon section of the alt-right considers Ali a deep state plant. No, I’m not kidding.
Millie Weaver, one of the organizers and speakers at the events in DC, who is a Qanon supporter, also did all of her coordination and rallying of participants on Twitter. Many of her 300,000 Twitter followers were at the event.
Terpsehore Maras-Lindeman, who was recently exposed as a fraud who poses as a former U.S. intelligence officer by the Washington Post, also rallied her followers via Twitter, Periscope, and her own website. Not only was she present at the chaos, she live Tweeted encouragement to the rioters as it happened. Here is a screenshot to show you what I mean.
Lindeman was also one of the biggest pushers of the conspiracy theory that Dominion and Scytl servers were raided by U.S. forces in Germany, resulting in CIA Director, Gina Haspel, being wounded and arrested by Trump’s loyal military. You may recall I was the researcher who traced that theory back to its source – a right-wing, pro-Russia, white supremacist truck driver in Germany. That bogus “Intelligence” made its way all the way up to some of Trump’s most loyal advisors, including General Mike Flynn.
Alexander and Lindeman were removed from Twitter soon after the event but Weaver is still very much active on Twitter and is one of the voices promoting the idea that the rioting was caused by Antifa infiltrators instead of supposed Qanon “patriots.” Here is a slideshow of a few of those Tweets.
Weaver is a fake news generating machine who came to fame working for Alex Jones’ InfoWars. Alex Jones publicly fired Weaver after he was angered that a “Documentary” Weaver put out in August of 2020 seemed to indicate that Roger Stone was a deep state operative. Weaver was arrested for domestic violence against her own mother the day the documentary was released. She played the deep state card and raised over $130,000 dollars for her “legal defense” after the arrest. The charges were later dropped and Millie kept the money. It is my belief that the documentary had not been polished up and prepared for release at that time and once Weaver found out she would be arrested, she rushed to get it out in order to capture the attention and blame the deep state for monetary gain. The Ohio Attorney General should be looking into that particular situation. The fraud was obvious. Terpsehore Lindeman also participated in that fund raiser surrounding the documentary and arrest.
Again, none of these took place on Parler. They happened right on Twitter, Facebook, and Periscope. Although I have a Parler account, I never once needed to open it while conducting my Qanon research. Not once. I did, however, spend many, many hours on Twitter. During and after the chaos, were Parler posts being shown on the news to highlight the violence and those behind it? No. Those were Tweets, from both the attackers and those opposing them. Those live streams were on Twitter, Facebook, and Periscope, not Parler. President Trump, who most are blaming for fanning the flames of insurrection on that day, didn’t even have a Parler account. His favorite platform was, and always had been, Twitter. The same was true for his most hardcore sycophants.
Parler was not the source of this problem. It was barely a blip on the social media radar prior to election day 2020. It is simply going to be the target of hatred because the platforms that actually DID help facilitate this chaos cannot and will not be held accountable for their own involvement.