The coordinated Big Tech deplatforming of Parler is looking more and more suspect. Last month, I reviewed every arrest report the DOJ had made available at that time, and the overwhelming number of social media posts cited in these reports were those posted on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. There was barely any mention of Parler.
Georgetown University’s Program on Extremism collated not just those arrest reports made available via the DOJ press releases but the more than 200 arrest reports otherwise available.
According to this assessment of DOJ arrest reports related to the events at the Capitol on January 6th, Facebook is the overwhelming “winner” in the violence-spreading, hate speech-permitting social media landscape. YouTube and Facebook-owned Instagram were close seconds and thirds.
Parler, purportedly shut down as the purveyor of right-wing extremist hate, lagged the other, more prominent (and well-protected) “insurrection” plotting social media tools.
New – An analysis of 226 DOJ charging documents shows Facebook was far and away the most used social media platform used by those charged in the January 6 siege of Capitol Hill.https://t.co/Ut6k7Xu29h?
— Thomas Brewster (@iblametom) February 7, 2021
In fact, Parler was so infrequently mentioned in the 200+ DOJ charging documents compiled by the Program on Extremism that it barely registered as a blip.
Just after the Capitol Hill riots on January 6, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook chief operating officer admitted the company’s ability to enforce its own rules was “never perfect.” About the shocking events of the day, she added: “I think these events were largely organized on platforms that don’t have our abilities to stop hate and don’t have our standards and don’t have our transparency,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook chief operating officer, shortly after the Capitol Hill riots on January 6.
Sandberg was later criticized for downplaying her employer’s role as a platform for the organizers of the siege. But Facebook was far and away the most cited social media site in charging documents the Justice Department filed against members of the Capitol Hill mob, providing further evidence that Sandberg was, perhaps, mistaken in her claim. Facebook, however, claims that the documents show the social media company has been especially forthcoming in assisting law enforcement in investigating users who breached the Capitol.
Forbes reviewed data from the Program on Extremism at the George Washington University, which has collated a list of more than 200 charging documents filed in relation to the siege. In total, the charging documents refer to 223 individuals in the Capitol Hill riot investigation. Of those documents, 73 reference Facebook. That’s far more references than other social networks. YouTube was the second most-referenced on 24. Instagram, a Facebook-owned company, was next on 20. Parler, the app that pledged protection for free speech rights and garnered a large far-right userbase, was mentioned in just eight.
Facebook was used by 73 of the people charged with crimes, more than all other social media sites combined, according to a Forbes analysis.
. . . . 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 is the DOJ-documented favored platform of the Capitol rioters thus far charged; they plotted there, they celebrated there, they bragged about their lunacy there.
Meanwhile, Parler was deplatformed for merely being suspected of this dubious distinction, but we all know that Facebook won’t get the same treatment.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the coordinated Big Tech effort to kill Parler was not in any way related to some noble goal of quelling right-wing violence and “insurrection” plotting. After all, the alleged violence and plotting were clearly conducted for the most part on the very Big Tech platforms that targeted and attempted to destroy Parler.
This is not only unconscionable and unjust, it’s unAmerican.