Parler Would Blow Up with Donald Trump’s Arrival

Parler is gaining traction as a free-speech alternative to Twitter. Several well-known conservatives have recently joined the social media platform. Despite the momentum, it only has a million users and is unknown to most of the country. That will be the case until the second President Donald Trump makes an account. 

It’d hardly be surprising if Trump soon joins Parler. The censorship concerns surrounding Twitter are primarily a result of his ongoing battle with the platform for flagging his tweets. The media can ignore Parler this morning; the morning after Trump’s first posts, it won’t be able to.

Though, according to Pew Research, only 22% of U.S. adults say they’ve used Twitter, nearly all of them have at least heard of it. How couldn’t they? Nearly every tweet sent by Trump over the past four years has been dissected by the major news channels. That’d immediately be the case for his posts on Parler, too. It’d be cited on NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and even ESPN.

Right now, Parler’s high-profile accounts are Trump’s supporters, family, and members of his administration. Trump’s arrival would attract his detractors. Media reporters and personalities that react and cover every character he sends won’t be able to afford to not get live updates. It’d also be advantageous for rival politicians to get involved. 

Parler may never, and probably won’t, reach the current heights of Twitter. But that doesn’t mean Twitter shouldn’t be terrified of losing chunks of its market share. The amount Parler could take from Twitter rests on the fingers of Trump. It’s hard to see a scenario where he abandons Twitter entirely, but each message he posts elsewhere is a knock to Twitter’s sales department. Twitter may pretend Trump is its greatest enemy. In reality, he’s its Don King — selling it as an unavoidable entity. 

Twitter intentionally misleads the country into thinking its beloved voices represent the majority of the country. It is a safe place for groupthink, it awards it. That’s where the likes and retweets come from. It’s also what makes it vulnerable to a decline. 

Twitter is overwhelmingly anti-Trump, left-leaning, and miserable. Those accounts don’t worry about censorship. They compete with others just like them for social media stardom. This is not hidden, either. It’s been made clear. The rest of the country is just waiting for a similar platform that doesn’t vilify independent thinking. 

There is an opening in the market to post online where you are not subject to being canceled by faceless trolls.

Twitter feeds off hate. It can’t operate or have influence unless there are targets and victories. Cancel culture doesn’t exist without victims. If, over time, Twitter’s primary targets, anyone who challenges their anecdotal views, migrates away, what power does it have? It has nothing. It will be the equivalent of a bunch of like-minded cults yelling into their ceilings about “actors,” “bigots,” “racists,” and “conspiracy theorists.” Four labels often handed out absent proof. Because, of course, facts are not required. 

There’s also a greater domino effect if Trump moves to Parler. It’s the impact it’d have on big tech as a whole. Tech giants all think alike. But until those who oppose the methods leave for new platforms, big tech will continue to rule like historical, invincible kings. Trump could usher in a movement of alternative media platforms. Which was quasi-started by Joe Rogan. 

Rogan is moving his popular podcast off YouTube and he’s encouraged web users to move to Google’s competitor Brave, the privacy-focused browser. Google’s platforms are less vulnerable than Twitter. However, if Parler and Brave take off, could YouTube’s uncontested run be next? Recently, Tucker Carlson, with his highest-rated show on cable news, took issue with YouTube inserting a warning on his monologue regarding riots.

Tech companies are rulers, and Trump, Rogan, and Carlson have the followings to bother them.

There’s not much of a reason for Donald Trump to not take his online messages to Parler. He wouldn’t lose reach, he’d bring it. This wouldn’t be an end to Twitter, it’d be a new era. An unfavorable era to one of the most toxic online services ever created.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

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