Parler splashed into the drawers of every rightist netizen this week, as it squished its way into public favor with the endorsement by Trumpist acolytes everywhere. People are hailing it as a utopia of free speech and expression, and lauding its alleged censor resistance, despite no actual censor resistance being present on the site, and an anti-porn policy the Reich would heartily endorse (much like the superior conservative shithole, Gab). Because of this obvious cognitive dissonance, I threw my hat in the ring – as y’all know, I’m a big fan of fucking with people, and these are good fucktargets. So here’s my account. One of the things you’ll note is I’ve done almost nothing but bash the joint. Cause it’s bashable. So I thought I’d aggregate my bash into one review post on my own site, because fuck these people being the only ones to make money off em. So here’s my itemized list of pros and cons, along with the rest of my review.
I’m a cynical, pessimistic, anarchist-extremist, asshole. I accept both “sides” of many things, as long as they don’t aggress against anyone, and I spend a significant amount of time doing things that piss literally everyone off. There are a significant amount of people on both the left and the right who want to see me pushed off the internet for one reason or another, and the most recent example is a group of alleged “Hoppeans”, along with outright fascists, trying to censor me.
Because I know this site is currently primarily predisposed of rightists, let me be clear – I will piss you off if you decide to look at my content, and I’m not sorry. What I found is that for people who constantly call people out on being snowflakes, or easily triggered, the right can have a significant and serious problem with both of those things. If that’s you, and you’re one of the people who will automatically believe that I’m a terrorist because Trump told you so?
Stay mad, loser.
Seriously – this is the only pro; literally everything else that I’d mark as a “pro” is being done better by other people. Longer posts? Minds. Pocketnet. Literally many better options. All with repost options, and much better handling of everything at all. But if you want to go where people are, and ride a temporary wave of bullshit, fuckin Parley (the stupidest name for “post” yet) away. It has people in it, so at least it has that going for it.
1. Vant direct messaging? Papers, please!
My first order of business is to piss off the owners of this site by saying that they’ve made it poorly. The idea that I have to upload a government issued ID in order to use something as basic as direct messaging is asinine. Literally no other social media service demands this, and if you truly want to compete on any other grounds than being a place where right wingers can be scum bags and get away with it, you would do well to act like the other media platforms in the ways that make it accessible without damaging your bottom line. Otherwise, why would anybody go with this place and not Gab? I can message people on Gab. It’s also Federated. What makes this place better? Legitimately curious, as somebody who looks into this stuff for a living. Right now, the places I promote people join are keybase and pocketnet, and I’m wondering why I should promote this place when it doesn’t offer basic stuff at the ground floor. It’s also keeping a lot of people I know away. Feel free to LMK.
2. OBSCENTIY IST VERBOTEN!
Next up is countering your dumbfuck “obscenity” rules.
Miller v CA was specifically a case involving local judgments for local communities, and was never intended to be a nationwide standard, in fact, the opposite. The fact that you hide behind legality, just like Andrew Torba over at Gab, to apply legal standards which do not require universality (which is why porn sites are allowed to exist on the Internet at all) to bar an expression variety of which you do not approve , is laughable. But if you insist on having this standard, in order to appease whatever conservative base you think you can get over here, here are a few slogan ideas for your site.
“Parler: Where You Can Be Racist, As Long As You Ain’t Sexy!”
“At Least The Klan Ain’t Nude!”
“Entartung ist verboten!”
Mean sure, I’m not gonna win many friends with this attitude, but you’re also not gonna see mass adoption this way, so enjoy…
The fact that I can’t use this nearly as effectively as Twitter, and the fact that I can’t hook it into other apps, is going to be an element of the reason it can’t succeed.
4. Bio links
Why the fuck can’t I put my website in the bio, like I can on literally every other social media platform?
5. Federate or Blockchain
How does anyone know that this place won’t censor them, if y’all still have ultimate control over whether or not we can post?
6. Post threading
Yeah, you allow people to do 1000 chars a post, but ultimately, I can get more than that by exponent if I use Twitter’s threading feature, which makes this place ultimately less expressive than Twitter. In more’n one way. In addition to your dumbfuck porn policy. On Pocketnet, I can make long ass articles, on a blockchain, with no such policy. Why should I stay here? Why should anyone? Oh – Trump likes it, and that’s all y’all need, ain’t it?
7. These threads are wack
Trying to see comments in a thread requires clicking the same button that activates the reply box, which means you can’t see a thread as a cohesive conversation, without interruption of a bunch of empty comment boxes.
8. Links don’t shorten
This means that literally a post which would do fine on a tweet might have issues because the link was too long. It also means that there missing out on valuable meta data that they could be using to improve services.
9. No advanced search
This means finding any specific Parley might be an exercise in futility, but maybe that’s the point? maybe this site is supposed to be repellent, so the only people who come here are people who came here because they wanted to be where Trump and his associates were.
10. Constantly being told to “wait x time til next action”
It’s hilarious that this site is trying to get people to be LESS active, and I am definitely laughing – hard. Who coded this thing?
11. No drag and drop
I can’t drag and drop images into posts? Why? Literally everywhere else has this except here.
12: No place saving
I can’t hit back and forward and reliably hit the same part of the page that I was on before. This makes browsing more difficult, especially on a computer.
13: Bad refreshing
Refreshing the page should happen in the background like it happens everywhere else. The fact that I’ve had to reload the page manually in order to check for new notifications is laughable coding.
14: No hovercards
On most other social media platforms, there is a card that pops up that allows you to easily see somebody’s basic information and follow them. nothing here. This means that somebody has to go to a person’s whole ass profile in order to see a follow button. It makes the following process a lot less intuitive.
15: Content (vids/pics) takes characters
HAHAHA everyone else got rid of that years ago. But this is where Trump is, and that makes all this bullshit worth it!
So, all in all, I’m not surprised, but not impressed either. The fact is, this place has nothing new to offer the space of alternative social media platforms, and does everything everyone else has already been doing worse. It exactly serves its function of being an outlet for people mad at Twitter to act like there’s an alternative that they can use which will still give them the same amount of influence, but it’s nothing more than a LARP. Ultimately, there is a reason Twitter rose to the top, and it’s primarily because it has a ton of functionality that the vast majority of these alleged alternatives don’t .
The fact that these alternatives all seem to profit from it makes them seem like cheap cash grabs meant to prey on the vulnerabilities of an already very gullible class of people. And before anybody gets on me for calling them gullible, I have no other word to describe this sort of person that would mindlessly believe Trump and his associates when they claim that this place supports free speech, and is censorship proof, while having absolutely no evidence of that, and while it demonstrably functions less well than many other places do. Especially while a cavalcade of morons are planning a process called “Twexit” whereby they choose to destroy their Twitter accounts in a laughable display of irony at protesting censorship. I mean yeah, what better way to protest censorship than to censor your whole account? Geniuses, this lot.
It’s a clunky, poorly coded, excuse for a social media platform, and there are so many better alternatives that you can throw a rock in any direction and you’ll probably hit one. The only use I can see for this platform in my own personal life is to spend time heckling people of a right wing persuasion and trying to get them to say something offensive enough to get banned due to the obscenity policy that this place has (which Twitter doesn’t). It’s ironic that yet another “free speech” site is censoring an entire class of media. But at least Gab is open and honest about doing it because they believe in theocracy. It’s almost more honorable that way than claiming some sort of “legal standard” – which is only supposed to be applicable to local communities – is your reason to censor an entire class of art in yours.
Hiding behind the law as an excuse to run a site in a way that is repellent to one particular side of political bias is exactly why people were upset with places like Twitter, and here Parler is, just as Gab was, doing exactly that craven bullshit. And while it’s doing that it also has its share of bigots, bullies, and other otherwise unpleasant people, which will keep the platform nice and echo chambery for a certain cast of people, and very few others, meaning that ultimately it will end up the same way Gab did, repeatedly losing payment processors and support from the wider community, as it descends into a single-minded heap of madness and occasional abject fascism. Moreover, just wait for this site to find people who aren’t acting outside terms of service to ban, because they never had any mechanisms for accountability in their camp, and because the posts weren’t indelible like they are elsewhere. Ultimately, the common user of this site is simply trusting the people who run it to do it honorably, because they have absolutely no way to keep these people on the straight and narrow. When that trust starts wearing thin, so will this site’s userbase, and exactly everybody will come reluctantly back to Jack Dorsey to kiss the ring, because simply believing somebody when they say a place like this is good news rather than looking into things for oneself, and figuring out that there are better places out there, means that these people will ultimately think there’s no other option but returning when they lose this one. It would be sad to think about were a lot of these people not authoritarians in their own right, but given the fact that so many of these people would enact laws to control certain aspects of other people’s lives anyway, I don’t actually give a fuck what happens to them when they lose it.
Meanwhile, if you want something that’s actually censor resistant, check out PocketNet, an application on the blockchain, which makes your posts not only censor resistant, but likely censor proof. I interviewed the founder not too long ago, and it’s still one of the most viewed articles about it, which means it doesn’t get nearly enough press. If Trump were serious about censor resistance, he would have pushed this, because it’s an easy way to prevent your posts from being censored to add them to a blockchain. He’s not serious, and neither is anybody at the team of Parler. And ultimately, this is why I started my own website, because now, nobody can stop me from saying exactly whatever the fuck I want to.
Come and get me.
2/10 – The People Ain’t Worth It
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