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I ran a crawler to collect posts and comments on Parler (anonymousdata.medium.com)
80 points by formalsystems 3 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 83 comments





I fully believe the flip side of this is.

Had social networks not, over the last 10 years, been consistently banning anyone and everyone they could for everything ranging from simply slightly disagreeable speech all the way to flat out illegal speech, you would not have needed a massive analysis of data from one-off sites. The crowd sourcing and eyes on the information of regular people could have predicted it.

By creating even more and more internet bubbles, the 'regular people' do not even see what the 'irregular people' are up to anymore. They cannot talk them down from their ledge, there is no intercommunication now.

By isolating people who moderates consider extreme, on either side, creates divided communities of extremism. This should seem like an obvious outcome.

https://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_b...


the crowd sourcing and eyes of regular people could have predicted it anyhow, and many people did in fact do just that simply by reading Parler or 4chan and taking threats seriously. See for example Arieh Kovler, 21 December 2020:

"On January 6, armed Trumpist militias will be rallying in DC, at Trump's orders. It's highly likely that they'll try to storm the Capitol after it certifies Joe Biden's win. I don't think this has sunk in yet.[...] To be clear here, I don't think the 3%ers, Proud Boys, Oathkeepers or boogaloo types are going to seize the Capitol. But some of them are going try. And people will die."

https://twitter.com/ariehkovler/status/1341016471795843080?s...

Don't spin this into some borderline gas-lightning argument about letting more of these people run rampart on platforms, this is a result of not taking far-right extremism seriously. If these people faced the full force of the law and state like ISIS-propagandists do you would not see them try to storm (and succeed) to occupy a federal building.


People have been saying that sort of stuff daily for as long as I've been online, 25-ish years. Of course someone will say 'but this time it's different', but I chalk this up to a broken clock being right twice a day.

I told my acquaintances that the "insurrection" would happen a full two weeks before it did.

Am I a broken clock, or are you just out of touch with the fragmented landscape of political commentary on the internet?


Just curious...what is your prediction for the much talked about country-wide "event" coming in 3-4 days? I mean, the same people who were "chattering" about the 6th have said in no uncertain terms that they WILL once again stage an armed protest (good luck to that) starting on the 16th and culminating on the 17th at the capitol and the capitols of each and every state. With the threat of violence not just between the lines, but as an explicit threat to anyone who doesn't agree with their agenda and has the temerity to fight back. It's full-on terrorist level manifesto stuff.

Should we hope the clock is still broken? Because I for one, am going to be watching from a safe distance away (not in person) and fearing for the lives of many people and our democracy on that day.


4chan is advertising for people to go to dc again on the 19th but armed. I don’t know how you can dismiss this when hanging out in /pol/ for a day will bring up several 200+ comment threads.

Save this comment: 4chan will be the next victim and the rest of the internet will say “good”


If you have any idea what 4chan already survived you know they aren’t going to fall over this.

4chan is not /pol/

Well it's a little harder to tell what's going on now that some of these right-leaning sites have been shuttered, but from what I can tell people are backing away from this and not showing much interest in further violent protest.

There might be some large crowds in response to all of the recent deplatformings, but at least some conservatives are claiming that no such events are planned on at the capitols and that the media is inflating the story.

Your guess is as good as mine though. There are so many lunatics in America that anything might happen. Hopefully whatever attempts at violence are made will be unsuccessful.


Hey that's me!

Anyone watching the protests of 2020 can predict a protest in 2021.

Very similar to the antifa rhetoric that we have seen over the past few years. I am not sure how alt-left is good and alt-right is bad when it seems that rioters are all assholes.

[flagged]


>The Internet is not real life, just because someone wrote something somewhere means nothing

sure but how is letting them on twitter helping with that, are there fewer russian trolls on twitter? These dedicated sites are literally 100% concentrated insight into these communities

Authorities in particular, I'm supposed to believe the folks at Homeland Security can't go to Parler and do some open-source intelligence and we need to let the trolls on Facebook instead? It's not like we accidentally pushed the perps into the scary darknet and need the IT guys from CSI, they were literally announcing this stunt proudly to the world, I just don't follow the argument at all.

In fact if the riot hadn't been successful I'd have said Parler is a honeypot because people registering with their ID posting openly that they're starting an insurrection is just too absurd.


Although a short phrase, "armed Trumpist militias" is doing a lot of work in that sentence. Even with hindsight, he is still technically wrong. An armed militia is a very different beast from a unarmed but violent right-wing protestor.

> Although a short phrase, "armed Trumpist militias" is doing a lot of work in that sentence. Even with hindsight, he is still technically wrong.

No, he's not.

> An armed militia is a very different beast from a unarmed but violent right-wing protestor.

The groups that attacked the Capitol were armed with a variety of weapons.


Sunlight really isn't the best disinfectant.

By allowing extremist content unhindered on your site, you are giving them a platform, you are helping them reach more people. You are in fact helping them boost their signal, rather than adhering to some ideal that ordinary people can somehow talk down extremists.

You cannot reason with a true believer. You cannot use facts to debate someone for whom the entire concept of facts is fluid and nebulous, something that only matters when they can twist it to their own ends. If you let extremists run free on your site, they will take over the narrative and infest every community they can.

It is impossible to debate someone who doesn't care about truth, lies or facts. They will spin a web of arguments that is impossible to counter, because they are not bound by what is real. The people who try to counter-argue have to stick to facts, so they get bogged down in sealioning, gish galloping, bad-faith arguments and outright trolling.

The end result is that by engaging the extremists, you allow them to repeat their arguments ad nauseum while you try to counter-argue with facts, but those take time to look up and state coherently, whereas the extremist can just make up lies as they go. It doesn't matter for them, what matters is that they appear to have all the arguments and that they appear to have the upper hand, because all that matters is projecting power.

The best way to get rid of extremists online is to ban them from your community.


You said it better than me. All of the Parler-Ban-Survivors-Club posts intentionally neglect that it was their content, rhetoric and real world actions that lead to it being shown the door. And Parler was created because the people that populated it as you mentioned, were impervious to facts but would engage in endless bad faith arguments over and over again.

This is empirically the correct approach

I'm curious: anyone feel they have ever successfully "talked someone down from a ledge" in an online forum in this way? Presumably it must happen but it seems vanishingly rare.

You see it here on HN all the time. An inflammatory post gets scolded/graciously questioned and the person retracts/apologizes/softens. Not every time, but a lot.

But HN might be unique in that regard? Or maybe there's just a scale beyond which it doesn't work?


There's a stark difference between the audience here at HN and say 8ch or even the taken down Parler. Most users here you can reason with, can't say much for extremists. Also the crowd over there won't give you the mic unless you feed them what they want to hear. They troop to these hidden places for a specific reason(s).

I did some cursory examination of the traffic other us presidential electables enjoy and was kind of blown away by how all except the top 2 basically have no traffic at all. The facebook likes and youtube clicks are so low it doesn't account for direct friends and relatives. This means not even the journalists around the world bothered to look at any of them. They had on average 1/3 article written about their electibility usually with the author explaining he didnt know anything about their program. Those who didnt disclaimer it all equally failed to say anything about the program.

There are to many of them for a [private] person to really look at all the programs but that out of many many hundreds of millions (in and outside the us) no one bothered to look at any of them rules out objectivity by the full 100%

It means people get all of their information from other people who also know nothing. Information limited to the top 2 groups. If team blue gets all of its information about team red from other team blue members you will have a similar total exclusion of reality.

End of the day you have to get off the ledge yourself either way based on the information you've gathered.

If we want you to know what anarchy, communism or Christianity are we should have you talk wiht the anarchist, the communist or the christian.


I do feel so, yes. The internet is not real life. Comments of people you know may lead to real life conversations, and yes, myself and others have come to common ground after being on extreme sides based on internet comments.

The internet is real life, though. More and more, people are experiencing relationships through the lenses of their online personas. The online world is different from the offline world, and it works by different rules, but it is very much real. A conversation in chat is no different than a phone call, and we don't say that phone conversations aren't real life.

You bring up a good point about people behaving differently in in-person conversations and even perhaps being more willing to change their minds. I think there's a lot of truth there, but I think it comes from thinking that our online personas aren't real and from being physically distanced from the effects of what we say online.

It never occurred to me that my sarcasm online would be a factor in a friend's suicide, but now I live with the consequences of not understanding the very real effects of the things I said.


Worse still. You want to cause trouble? All you need to do is open an account in your enemy's platform and start being a publicly visible asshole under its badge.

I'm not claiming a "bad apples are always planted" conspiracy theory, but it does worry me how easy it is to do so and create a destructive narrative if you really wanted to.

Whereas if you're just trolling in a general platform, most likely outcome is that you'll get called out for it from both sides and that's about it.


No one is going to buy the argument of "bad apples" on Parler. It was designed because the bad apples were getting regulated on your standard platform.

Create a new account, post some shit, immediately screenshot it, and share the picture on your real Twitter account. Takes 1 minute of time, and has a chance to be shared by media.

You're gaslighting. Storming the capitol and threatening the lives of senators isn't the same as protesting to be heard.

BLM protestors didn't show up with a guillotine


They most certainly did though.

This was setup in front of the mayor's house in Portland OR:

https://twitter.com/BGOnTheScene/status/1297421944799686658

I am starting to question if people do not realize this activity has been going on for many months in cities across the country.

Why the media kept this relatively quiet (now and previously) is beyond comprehension for most people aware at this point.

The media is divided and therefore, our people are also divided.

If two people can’t agree what/when/if past events occurred, how can anyone discuss, much less agree on the current events?

In other words, perhaps people should consider that any opinions formed re: politics were likely formed from/by the media they consumed.

If we know the media has lately been “one-sided” (yet coming from all sides), perhaps we should be a bit more vigilant to not make assumptions about “another side” if we are unwilling to look at that side - outside the lens of the “great filter”.

IIRC, the great filter is what Elon Musk calls it, at least that’s my understanding of the meaning.

The instant outrage of today - solely based on what the media is presenting - is at the very least - a possible attack vector for outside or even internal forces.

It is my opinion that folks need to better understand this before becoming immediately outraged.

It’s up to a person to determine what side they want to present to others politically, but having an understanding that most people won’t review “all sides” before discussion can help keep “toxicity” in-check upon the inevitable disagreement that will come after posting any political statement.

This is why it’s an attack vector, and why the attack works. It works based on the likelihood that most won’t even look, yet will make assertions as if they did.


Hey, when my side brings the guillotines it is completely different from when your side brings the guillotines, how dare you suggest that there is any similarity between their behaviors? Yours are the guillotines of hate, ours are the guillotines of love and tolerance!

> been consistently banning anyone and everyone they could for everything ranging from simply slightly disagreeable speech all the way to flat out illegal speech

This is lie. Social networks were not banning for "simply slightly disagreeable speech".


What twisted rationalization. People will self segregate based on ideologies if given the option unless they are forced together. If anything having all the crazies segregated into one platform makes it easier to spot trouble.

People self segregate based on other characteristics, too, say nationality and language. Hence all the China Towns. There are even remnants of Czech communities in places like Texas that still dance polka and bake kolaches. And Czechs abroad generally assimilate fast.

Yet racial diversity at universities and in corporations is highly sought after and supported by all kinds of measures.

Perhaps political diversity should be added into the mix. It would be consistent.


I always thought kolaches were Mexican, because I'd only seen them in Texas. I learned something new today.

Note that there is some confusion! In South Texas especially, the dish klobásník (informally "pigs in a blanket") is very frequently labeled "kolache", [1] despite having little resemblance to the traditional desert:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klob%C3%A1sn%C3%ADk

[1] Here are the listings for "kolaches" from HEB, a very popular grocery chain throughout most of Texas: https://www.heb.com/search/?q=kolaches


And yet that did not occur. You have all the crazies on 4chan too, did that enable law enforcement to stop the New Zealand Mosque shooter, who was a regular?

New Zealand shooter was on 8chan and he was a lone wolf. Those are not easy to prevent but a mass discussion of a large coordinated event definitely can be.

So just ignore the slew of other violent crimes that were prevented by federal law enforcement monitoring anonymous message boards?

Thats not what I said.

> The crowd sourcing and eyes on the information of regular people could have predicted it.

> By creating even more and more internet bubbles, the 'regular people' do not even see what the 'irregular people' are up to anymore. They cannot talk them down from their ledge, there is no intercommunication now.

What kept 'regular people' from hopping on 8ch and stopping Christchurch by talking him down? Fun fact: The whole thing was well known in advance and even observed online by law enforcement.

Point is, the argument doesn't hold up. Bubble or not, things like these are accessible in every way for almost everyone. The problem is that it's not taken seriously. This has nothing to do with isolation. Simply no one cares, that's what it is. There is just too much of this on the internet at any time. Are you supposed to go after every hate comment? How would that work? It doesn't. It's just too much, even with regularly banning people.


>What kept 'regular people' from hopping on 8ch and stopping Christchurch by talking him down? Fun fact: The whole thing was well known in advance and even observed online by law enforcement.

What kept 'regular people' from hopping onto a widely derided and supposedly extremist platform, where threats of exposure of ones personal life simply for being there stopped them from noticing extremism?

Are you sure that is a good argument?

Firstly, almost no average FB or TW user knows of those forums, let alone the ones that do being willing to also 'go there' given all the stigma.

My point still is, if you force these people into places like that, where their plans are easily observable, and 99% of people wont go there then it will fester in silence.

Whereas the other potential is..sunlight. Let them say their statements in the sunlight, rather than ban them.

1. Family or friends will banter them down

2. Friends of friends will bring them to center rather than extreme (on EITHER side)

3. its one place rather than 35 distinct forums for LEO to follow.


According to the BBC the shooter himself posted and live steamed on Facebook [0]. "Someone", possibly the shooter or possibly someone watching him on Facebook, crossposted it to 8ch. I think a lot of times the alt websites get hate for stuff that's clearly happening on the mainstream websites as well. I'd estimate that the alt websites have much higher concentrations of hate, but probably less overall hate than the mainstream websites.

0 - https://web.archive.org/web/20190317214903/https://www.bbc.c...


> Firstly, almost no average FB or TW user knows of those forums, [...]

> Are you sure that is a good argument?

It was live streamed on FB. I think the argument holds up.


> My point still is, if you force these people into places like that, where their plans are easily observable, and 99% of people wont go there then it will fester in silence.

Good.

Better they fester in silence in a place where they can be observed and reported to authorities when they cross the line. Without a popular, legitimate, high traffic platform that allows them to influence a mass audience the cancer doesn't metastasize.

I can't banter my own mother into giving up whatever conspiracy theory crosses her path. There are so many people with equally poor fact-checking and critical thinking skills that they form their own festering bubbles on popular platforms. The bigger the bubbles, the more extreme they get, and now the end result is a confederacy of deluded, violent extremists sacking the capitol. We're lucky it wasn't worse, but this might be a dress rehearsal for far more violence if we don't get a better grip.


Please read a history book, preferably one written in the last century.

Human societies are cyclical, repeatable, and to some degree, predictable.

At least 75,000,000 people think one way. Deny them the right to speak openly and what might you have?

I gather, as a late night estimate, 75,000,000 people talking to about another 55,000,000 people why they are right.

And you want to force them all into darkness, unable to engage in the political discussion.

Madness. Absolute Madness.


> At least 75,000,000 people think one way. Deny them the right to speak openly and what might you have?

Nobody is denying these people the right to speak openly, and it's ridiculous to paint with this broad of a brush. The overwhelming majority people are perfectly decent, have normal lives, and don't go around making violent threats or spreading absurd, easily disproven conspiracy theories.

There is an infinitesimal minority who are toxic, deluded extremists. Giving them equal footing on huge platforms with global reach helps them spread their poisonous ideas to a still-minority, but vastly larger group. That subsequent small minority which they infect are able to wreak much greater havoc. Parler was a perfect example of this in action.

> Human societies are cyclical, repeatable, and to some degree, predictable.

To this point, I would direct your attention to the Rwandan genocide, a perfect example of what can happen when you give a mass media platform to people who advocate murderous extremism. The genocide was incited by extremist radio shows spouting conspiracy theories and hatred.


> Please read a history book, preferably one written in the last century.

I've read quite a few, and they don't bear out your description at all.

> Human societies are cyclical, repeatable, and to some degree, predictable.

Not really, not really, and really not.

> At least 75,000,000 people think one way

74,222,593 people conclude, for a wide variety of different reasons, at a particular point in time, to vote for a particular candidate. But even those 74,222,593 people don't “think one way”; if that wasn't obvious from, oh, actually listening to them at the time or having a basic understanding of humans, it's pretty damn obvious right now, when in defeat the Republican Party which was, if nothing else, pretty unified in electoral support for Trump, (much less the broader group of Trump voters which necessarily included a substantial number of non-Republicans) has been turned against itself with great intensity by Trump’s post-election actions, starting with the election challenges and escalating through the Trumpist attack on the Capitol.

> Deny them the right to speak openly and what might you have?

No one is interested in denying the vast majority of the people who supported Trump in the last election the right to speak openly. You are railing against a strawman.


I'm not really 'railing' about anything, just thinking out loud. Thanks

Gallows are a time-honoured protest prop (eg, [0]), one being present isn't really the manifestation of gross negligence that this post wants to make it out to be [1].

This is not a very interesting post. Yeah you could predict that there was going to be a protest from Parler. There would have been people saying "hey, there is a rally on the 6th, lets go there and show our support".

[0] https://www.victoriabuzz.com/2019/11/climate-activists-plan-...

[1] Refering to "Parler allowed the idea of attacking and hanging politicians ... through gross negligence or willing ignorance. This idea manifested itself in the gallows erected outside the US Capitol on January 6th.


It's a disgusting practice. I don't care how time-honoured it is. Real people are involved here. Real violence. Real death.

Showing someone a guillotine or a gallows or making threats to use deadly violence as part of a political protest is just plain wrong.


I don't disagree that it's a threat. But that threat is always there anyway. We prefer the democratic process because it's less destructive than regular, bloody power transitions. A guillotine can be seen as a reminder for why we have democracy. So in a way it's a pro-democratic symbol as the threat is there to enforce democratic norms.

The threat only becomes misguided if you're wrongly under the impression that democratic norms have been violated and thus you're threatening legitimately elected officials.

Think of it as a prisoner's dilemma. Perfectly rational or virtuous prisoners might cooperate out of their own volition. But even very selfish prisoners might be convinced to cooperate if they repeatedly get reminded of the grisly outcomes that happen to defectors. We might prefer the former (virtuous actors) but if we can't rely on everyone being like that then encouraging good behavior through threats is the next best option which is still far more preferable than the worst possible equilibrium.


This is the same kind of thinking that leads to western states that support black propaganda.

No. We do not need this. The grisly outcome that they who would defect should not be death. Economic hardship after months long protests which shut down the economy are a much better tool. Or even mass emigration to a safer or more just state.

Gandhi was plenty effective enough. We do not need spirals of threats and violence and arms races.


Back in the summer protestors stood outside Jeff Bezos's house with a guillotine: https://twitter.com/dcexaminer/status/1299022885231538176

That is also disgusting. Bezos is still a human. I know I'm replying to each of these replies to me, but it's because I'm so concerned about the divisiveness of the politics we find ourselves in. It doesn't matter if it's on the left or the right. In a democracy or republic with free movement and free speech the tools are there to enact the change the public desires without weapons or slaughter or threats or violent symbolism.

These are real people with real lives and living children and parents and friends.


I think we need to be careful with overreactionn on both the left and the right. For example simply looking at someones actions overreacting to it and calling it disgusting and then saying that whatever they did is absolutely irredeemable promotes a toxic political culture. This kind of intolerance of other viewpoints is part of the reason we are in todays mess.

I agree with your general thrust, but I disagree with your conclusion.

We need to say when things are wrong. It's vital. And right now what the right in America is doing is wrong. I'm not some absolutist left-winger. I once had a firearms license here in Canada. Though I'm a happy Liberal Party of Canada member, I've voted for Conservatives in the past and I'm open to doing so in the future.

I do not have intolerance of other viewpoints. I actively seek out a broad range of views. What I have intolerance for is violence and calls to violence and lies. If that's the charge against me I happily accept whatever verdict you or anyone else will levy against me. The truth matters. Peace matters. I am unwilling to let these half truths go by without comment or rebuke.


Threat of deadly violence is the weight that the political system throws around. To consider using them same to keep it in check to be disgusting is to ask to be used as a doormat.

I don't care if deadly violence or the threat of deadly violence "throws the political system around" it is completely counterproductive in the long run so long as the people in the system are free to communicate and assemble. Blowback is real and lasting. If enough people want change, organize a three month long protest where people actually leave their jobs and fields. There are plenty of legal and safe ways to change the course of a democracy or republic.

We do not need men in viking hats storming the capital or symbols of mob-rule-sanctioned execution to fix things.


im super annoyed by people who are outraged about this then turn around and repost memes about eating the rich or guillotining/GULaging Jeff Bezos

I'm highly critical of certain billionaires, Bezos included, but I do not endorse or even tolerate language like "eat the rich" because I still value the humanity of people that I think are presently exploiting a broken political / economic system.

Bezos has done some good. Especially on climate change. Just because we disagree on the distributive effects of capitalism doesn't mean we're not both part of the same human race and world.


I personally spent many hours on Parler reading the discourse. The Turner Diaries were openly discussed and gave rise to various gallow-related hashtags which proliferated on it.

I don't presume to predict anything as was correctly pointed out. I could not and did not imagine the events that transpired.


> The Turner Diaries were openly discussed and gave rise to various gallow-related hashtags which proliferated on it.

This looks to me like a classic correlation-causation mistake.

* Discussion a book with mass hangings can lead people to talk about gallows.

* Going to a political protest can traditionally involve bringing a gallows.

They are not linked, even though both things involve a gallows. Political protest commonly involves nooses (here is a really good one [0]). That is totally normal symbolism after a US president is voted in.

[0] https://www.cbs17.com/news/kentucky-man-hangs-effigy-of-dona...


[1] Absolutely. The insinuation is the "wrong people" are not supposed to use it.

Exactly. It's nothing. Just as this is nothing:

‘OFF WITH HIS HEAD’ Black Lives Matter protesters put Trump effigy in a GUILLOTINE outside White House

https://www.the-sun.com/news/1384275/protesters-trump-effigy...

Both sides do it. Both sides fein outrage and disgust at the other side doing it.


Tabloids are not credible.

https://twitter.com/ShelbyTalcott/status/1299168966255017984 Here, from someone on the ground that night, you can clearly see St. John's Episcopal Church in the videos. The tabloid was reporting correctly.

The fact these sorts of things, including all the other violence and destruction going on at the time, were either ignored wholesale or played down by mainstream news sources, while also being actively encouraged in the next breath ought to be a source of shame for them. The country spent the last year being gas-lit.

Its no surprise at all why many people on the right distrust them.


Wow, there really was a fake Trump model under a guillotine. I agree that major news outlets have become very polarized and lack critical reflection of their own reporting / party they support.

Still, Trump supporters have become quite removed from reality, and "liberal" outlets at least recognized Trump's insane hubris.


The article is factually correct. The reason it's in a tabloid is because reporting it is sensationalistic.

It's sensationalistic because how one person, or several people, or even dozens or hundreds express themselves in a large crowd doesn't say anything about the other people "standing with them", or politics, or political leaders. This applies to the right and left.


No, you don't get to retrospectively pretend you could have predicted something after it happened. No amount of graphs can make up for the fact that he's cherry picked an event that actually happened then went on a fishing expedition.

This comment was about the submitted title, "We could have predicted the events of January 6th from Parler's data". The submitter changed it to "Violent hashtag frequencies in Parler", which is now also the title of the article. I've since changed it to the first sentence, which feels (to me at least) more neutral, and have turned off the flags on the post.

It's unclear exactly what these graphs are showing. The axes are not labeled well - why does "relative" frequency matter? From my reading of this post, all the author is saying is that the rate of those posts went up over time, relative to themselves. But if they're still an exceedingly rare occurrence, that tells a different story. How frequently were they appearing overall? What percentage of all Parler users posted messages calling for violence explicitly? What percentage of all Parler posts did the same? These are the questions that matter more in my opinion.

Until then, this claim seems like a leap:

> It is clear that Parler allowed the idea of attacking and hanging politicians to spread virally on the platform, either through gross negligence or willing ignorance.

The recent NYT article that appeared on HN (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/09/technology/apple-google-p...) mentions examples of posts being moderated and removed. So there is a non-zero amount of moderation happening, apparently? Let's also keep in mind, Parler is a 30-person company. How can they keep up with the deluge of traffic they received? If the answer to censored speech is "go make your own social network" but then people turn around to deplatform a small social network that does not have the funding, monetization, or staffing of a megacorp like Twitter or Facebook, then there is no viable competition for the big players. They not only have the competitive moat of network effects, they also are able to collude with each other to kill any new competition.

And if these companies like Facebook and Twitter face no realistic competition, we should recognize that they are simply public utilities operating the digital public town square on the public's behalf. As such, they must be held to a higher standard and required to carry all speech that isn't illegal.


Also, kudos to this author for not logging personal information:

> there is panic among the ex-Parler community that all their data, even private/deleted posts, have been scraped and archived — it has, just not by me. Furthermore, Parler did not follow industry standards in obfuscating EXIF metadata from uploaded images, so millions of users had their exact location logged.

However, I am stunned that Twitter still has not taken down the tweets from @donk_enby, the person whom this post mentions with the location logging (example: https://twitter.com/donk_enby/status/1348294151712944128). This account has been sharing datasets with the private information of all those Parley users widely and archiving it all over the place. Isn't this textbook irresponsible disclosure of personal information? Doesn't this violate all the rules of Twitter for doxxing? I've submitted several reports at https://help.twitter.com/forms/private_information but it seems no one at Twitter cares about preventing privacy leaks and doxxing when it concerns their political enemies.


The dump only contains information that people posted publicly on Parler, as per this:

"only things that were available publicly via the web were archived. i don't have you e-mail address, phone or credit card number. unless you posted it yourself on parler." - https://twitter.com/donk_enby/status/1348666166978424832

If anything, the people on Parler doxxed themselves by posting all of it in public, it was all directly visible by everyone who used the site/app.

EDIT: Posts that people tried to delete are also in the dump, because of Parler's choice to only mark them as "deleted" and not actually delete them, hence they were still visible to admins. They were publicly visible in the past and could just as easily have been archived then.

Parler does have those people's e-mails and so on, but that is not in this dump. It will have to subpoenaed.


So why is media treating this differently from when Zero Hedge posted the contact information of a head of a lab in Wuhan that was conducting research into coronaviruses carried by bats? In that case, the person’s contact information was also public and it was intended as such on the lab’s own website, since he was the public face of it. And yet Zero Hedge was attacked by news media and posts on social media as “doxxing” the researcher. Twitter even banned them “permanently” for it, only to reverse the ban months later.

Another consideration is that even if email addresses and phone numbers aren’t in the dump, there is EXIF data with locations and orientation. If this person was at all ethical and responsible they would have stripped everything that could identify a person out. But she didn’t, because the same rules don’t matter when it’s a leftist (she’s a self-described “anarcho socialist”) is attacking political enemies from the right. And no social media or news media is taking this down or even describing it in negative terms.

It’s hard for me to see all this as anything but shameless double standards.


I don't represent Twitter, nor do I have any influence on their decisions. I simply corrected your misconceptions about the data present in the dump.

However, there is a big difference between posting the information on a single named person and in effect blaming him for the COVID-19 pandemic, based purely on speculation and hearsay about the supposed origin of the virus, and dumping the publicly available data from a website that provably hosted and tolerated (perhaps even boosted) conspiracy theories and incitement to overthrow the results of a democratic election.

Zero Hedge does this a lot, they latch onto wild theories and present them as if they are factual. Their hit:miss rate is absolutely atrocious, they are not a reliable source of news.

As for @donk_enby's political views, her profile says "Meiklejohnian absolutist. free speech as in free-for-everyone.", for context: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meiklejohnian_absolutism

"Therefore, all speech, even criticizing the established government, is healthy to the life of democracy. In essence, this means that free speech must be protected not for those speaking, but for those who should hear what they are saying."

This is not a left vs. right thing, it's an issue of Parler('s users) wanting to stuff the genie back in the bottle, they want to unsay what they have said and unpost what they have posted, because after the 6th it is extremely compromising for them to have said/posted it.


I don't read Zero Hedge and I'm not a "fan" or anything like that. But there is significant disinformation about what they claimed and wrote. Zero Hedge did not present their theory as definitive (read for yourself at https://www.zerohedge.com/health/man-behind-global-coronavir...). It was speculative, and frankly it is totally appropriate to speculate in a situation like this. Why wouldn't a leak from a lab be feasible? Why were activists and media (and even scientists) so quick to squash any speculation or exploration or investigation about origin, when there have been numerous historical incidents where powerful governments and corporations denied culpability only to be proven wrong later when evidence came out (in some cases decades later)? There has to be an outlet for theories because hard truths often begin as open ended theories.

Consider as well that the CCP has still not permitted an international probe and site visit to this Wuhan lab. Note that in late December, a scientist said they would welcome a site visit (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-55364445) but then when the WHO wanted to visit Wuhan to investigate, their visas were denied (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-55555466). Lastly, note that other media outlets were NOT banned for doing what Zero Hedge did (example: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2020-02-13/after-zero-hedge-t...).

> This is not a left vs. right thing, it's an issue of Parler('s users) wanting to stuff the genie back in the bottle, they want to unsay what they have said and unpost what they have posted, because after the 6th it is extremely compromising for them to have said/posted it.

It is absolutely a left versus right thing if the same standards are not being applied to both sides. I'm not sure how your statements invalidate the double standards around doxxing. One group sharing publicly-available information for the public face of an organization is considered impermissible doxxing. But another group evangelizing and disseminating unintended public disclosure of private information (location data) is okay? The latter is not just equivalent, but a significantly worse act.


The headline on the Zero Hedge article is literally "Is This The Man Behind The Global Coronavirus Pandemic?", which places blame on the guy, under the bad-faith guise of "just asking questions". They know full well what that means to conspiratorially-minded people and what they're implying.

Since you appear to only want to argue in bad faith, I have nothing further to discuss with you.


Many people are reconsidering the way we socially network. I propose making each person directly responsible for what the post, and their hosting.... but layered on top of that is a creative commons license so other people can repost, review, comment, markup, etc.

We need to take back the web.


Take anonymity away from people to give the power back to... people? I don’t see this benefiting anyone other than web trackers.

Anonymity is an illusion, and it encourages bad behavior, much like road rage. Arbitrary censorship is the larger issue.

If I do something illegal, it shouldn't take down everyone I ever happened to chat with, or who read or liked something I wrote once... even the Godwin's law protagonist had a few good ideas mixed in with his assured evil.

Free exchange of legal speech shouldn't arbitrarily be squelched because some corporation decides their advertisers wouldn't like it.

For example, a few years ago there was a great machining set of videos in which an M-16 lower receiver was machined out of a billet of Aluminum. Youtube decided that anything like that had to go, not for legal reasons, just because of... you know... whim.

There was nothing wrong with the video series, it didn't promote violence, it was just a well done documentation of all the tips and setups required to do a tricky bit of work.

The replacement that seems to be safe (for now) is to machine model steam engines and lathes from casting kits. Cool, but far less useful in learning the real thing.

[update] The idea of learning by watching is a lot less powerful when whole areas of study are excluded randomly, for "reasons" that are never fully explained.

If someone decided that hashtables and binary trees should be hidden from view, could you really teach computer science without them?

It's a filter bubble of the worst sort. It keeps you from even learning what you don't know, because it can't be safely mentioned.


could've + should've + would've = didn't

it is a shame , with so much of surveillance and the tax money gone into it, and yet this wasn't prevented.


That probably means that either they're focusing on the wrong thing (muslims and lefties? I don't know) or that they actually did predict the events and did nothing for whatever reason.

Perhaps the administration had good reasons for not making this a priority.



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