Parler Tops App Store Charts for First Time

Mark Zuckerberg frowning
Getty/Chip Somodevilla

The social media platform Parler topped Apple’s app store for the first time over the weekend and was installed more than 310,000 times over the past week. Parler’s surge comes at the Silicon Valley Masters of the Universe have ramped up their censorship of discussion about the election.

Parler topped Apple’s App Store for the first time over the weekend. Meanwhile, the social media platform’s competitors — such as Twitter and Facebook — have faced intense scrutiny for their role in censoring content during the 2020 presidential election.

“I think people are really just fed up with what’s going on on Twitter and Facebook, and these other places that are really cracking down and trying to just interfere with what people are trying to talk about during this time,” said Parler CEO John Matze in an interview with Fox Business.

Research firm Apptopia told Fox Business that downloads for the “non-biased, free speech” platform topped 310,000 over the past week, with the peak starting on November 6, days after the presidential election. The app had been downloaded just over 150,000 times in the week prior.

“Once you start content curation, and you start fact-checking or introducing bias, and I don’t think that there’s any perfect group without bias, so, in terms of being a platform for transparency and free speech, they’ve gone way too far,” said Matze.

In the interview with Maria Bartiromo, Matze added that because Twitter is acting as a publisher, the social media platform should not be exempt through Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act.

“If you’re editorializing content, you’re no longer 230 exempted, which means that you’re acting as a publisher,” said Matze. “And Judge Clarence Thomas has even indicated under the current definition of the Section 230 law, this would be defining them as a publication, and could remove their protections.”

“And this is particularly concerning, because President Trump and former vice president Biden, they’re campaigns know more about the election than Twitter and Facebook ‘s fact-checkers,” he added. “They’ve been working on this stuff for years.”

Matze also referred to Parler as a virtual “town square” where people can meet and speak freely.

“Right now, [Parler is] a town square where people can talk and get things out, and be transparent, without fact-checkers, without editorial bullies trying to tell you what to think,” said Matze.

“Parler is, really, the only place in terms of social media that’s allowing that,” he added.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.

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