• Daniel Ethan Finneran

Parler Incapacitated

In the wake of President Trump’s shocking Twitter cancellation, a move over which—mostly on the airwaves of that very site—Democrats celebrated, and Republicans mourned, the microblogging site, Parler was also effectively cancelled.

Like the loquacious heretic excommunicated from his church, the opinionated congregant, always mumbling in the rear, sent from the house in which he was so unwelcomingly preserved, Parler was cast out of the technological temple. It now finds itself alone, abandoned to its fate and stripped of those friends upon whom it could never fully rely, searching for its footing in a web-less wilderness. Like a modern Martin Luther or a jilted Jan Hus, Parler was sent away from Amazon Web Services, that mighty cathedral of cloud storage and computer data from which, unknowingly, the vast majority of us receive our internet nourishment, and the world and its governments receive their light.

The justification for Amazon’s action, so cursory, it seems, given the uncertainties by which the dark origin and ghastly development of the riot remain surrounded, is that Parler was a promulgator of that call to violence from which, sadly, our Congress suffered. Seeking a safe haven about which their opinions might be more freely bandied, and tasting the bitter herb of censorship by which their lips were being shut, patrons of Parler found in this newly-created site a place unfettered by Twitter’s heavy restrictions. Mind you, these were restrictions by which they felt themselves disproportionately bound.

Parler was formed as an alternative “platform” in the truer sense of the word, a freer space more congenial to the American spirit from which none would be excluded, and by which none would be judged. It just so happened, perhaps because of its novelty, but probably for its laudable and, as it turns out, naïve commitment to the freedom of speech and the liberty of expression, that many of the President’s supporters fled there.

Doubtless, among the site’s ten million users, malign actors found their way into the crowd. Having done so, they seem to have conjured up the plan to infiltrate the Capitol Building, suspend the Electoral College certification process, intimidate all those by whom they might be opposed and, most gruesomely of all, depart with a Vice Presidential scalp.

But it’s now become clear that Parler isn’t unique in having played host to these dastardly conversations. Many of those responsible for the assault on our republic discussed their plans rather unabashedly on Facebook and Twitter as well. One would think, having observed the papal bull issued by Amazon Web Services, by which Parler was cast out of its holy, empyrean “cloud”, Facebook and Twitter would be damned just the same.

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