- The Washington Times
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Parler, the free-speech alternative to Twitter founded by CEO John Matze in 2018, has exploded on the social media scene in recent days, due in large part to conservative angst over recent censorship of President Donald Trump and others who don’t toe the liberal line.

This is a wide-open window of opportunity conservatives can’t afford to let close.


For the seemingly first time since the whole Big Tech censorship war on conservatives has been waged, those on the ideological right are fighting back, en masse, on free market terms. They’re not turning to government for intervention. They’re not calling on bureaucrats to regulate the Internet. They’re not, in other words, behaving like the Democrats.

They’re exercising free choice and moving to a different market, Parler. It’s the best opportunity conservatives have had yet to topple the social media enemies of freedom on terms that make sense to conservatives: competition.

Parler, in just the last few days, grew its user base from 1 million to more than 1.5 million, and now boasts the membership of Sen. Ted Cruz, Reps. Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes and Elise Stefanik, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, and Eric and Lara Trump, the president’s son and daughter-in-law. Sen. Rand Paul and Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale have been on the site for some time.

With more campaigning, even more conservative thought-leaders will hop aboard.

Parler welcomes people of all viewpoints and doesn’t shadow ban or censor,” tweeted Sen. Mike Lee. “This is why it’s the fastest-growing social media platform. As soon as @realDonaldTrump joins Parler, tens of millions of others will follow.”

Indeed.

This is how to topple the tech tyrants, free market style.

This is how to reel in the arrogance of the Big Tech liberals without dinging limited government principles.

This is how to cut through the censorship — without resorting to more censorship.

“They’re the tech oligarchs, they’re tech tyrants,” said Mr. Nunes on a recent Fox News interview, rightly describing Twitter, Facebook and Google. “Republicans and conservatives are being driven out and off of [these platforms]. … Conservatives are being censored.”

And that’s true.

But it still doesn’t mean the solution to “tech tyrant” censorship of conservatives is to impose government speech regulations on the private sector tyrants — to censor the censors.

Better is to beat them at their own game.

That’s why Parler’s massive growth shows so significant on the freedom scale.

Parler is a private company that just toppled Twitter from its high-brow perch at the Apple “News App” store. Parler is rapidly scooping up the conservative leaders who are scorned and scolded by liberal social media. Its membership rolls are growing; its brand is becoming better known. And the scales of power are tipping, if even just a little.

What’s refreshing, and inspiring, and even a little bit of a relief, is that it’s taking place absent the government’s thumb. The more conservatives join alternative social media sites, the less power the leftist tech tyrants have — the freer America as a society stays. Conservatives should ride the momentum now, because an opportunity like this doesn’t come often.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.


Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.