New questions are being raised by the full-court press to ban Parler from the internet after Department of Justice charging documents conclude that, overwhelmingly, Facebook was the preferred social media site for those planning to storm the U.S. Capitol.
In the days after the January 6th riot, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and Apple colluded to force the free-speech app off the internet. And while the owners of the site are beginning to mount their comeback, the fact that Silicon Valley could mobilize in such a way against a competitor proved to be highly disturbing for defenders of free speech and free enterprise. The app’s critics say it’s justified based on the content found on Parler, which is reportedly violence and insurrectionist in nature. But if these rioters relied on Facebook far more than they did Parler, what does that say?
According to George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, the indictments of 223 people who have been charged for participating in the riot show that 73 of them used Facebook to organize their plans. That’s not only more than used Parler – it’s more than any other social media site combined. If there is a “problem” of extremism online, it seems that problem can be found inside Zuckerberg’s empire, does it not?
From the Daily Caller:
Alternative social media site Parler was banned from using Amazon’s online infrastructure in the wake of the riot due its alleged connection to the violence, but was only used by eight people charged, Forbes reported. Both Apple and Google removed Parler from their app stores.
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg had previously assigned culpability for the riot to Parler and Gab, another smaller platform.
“I think these events were largely organized on platforms that don’t have our abilities to stop hate, don’t have our standards and don’t have our transparency,” she said on Jan. 11, according to The Washington Post. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller.
Okay, so then why is Parler banned?
We’re not trying to argue that Facebook should be banned in its stead (or alongside it) by any means. We’re simply pointing out that cracking down on free speech is the exact wrong way to tackle extremism in any form. Censorship only begets more extremism; you don’t prove the radicals wrong by doing the very things they predicted you would do!