Twitter vs. Parler

On June 24th, Devin Nunes’ defamation case against Twitter, for the insults he received on that site at the hands of “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and “Devin Nunes’ Cow,” was dismissed. Devin Nunes sought to hold Twitter to account as the “content provider” in this case, despite the fact that existing laws dictate that an online social platform is not a content provider where members post data, unless they are party to that information’s creation. The court also found that the allegation that conservatives (here on out, note “conservatives” are not actually conservatives, but what’s left of the GOP that uses the label) or any other class of people were treated differently by Twitter was without basis.

Having lost his case, Nunes began anew a campaign to encourage his followers to leave twitter and join the competing site Parler. Not only did Nunes undertake this encouragement of conservatives to exit the platform, so did many GOP politicians and talking heads starting on June 25th.

Now, I cannot say this concerted effort was a planned event. I cannot say it was anything more than sheer coincidence, or a cattle line, “Me too!” follow. I can say the Trump Campaign weighed in on the same day, the 24th, about moving to alternate social platforms; specifically Parler. So there’s that.

It is clear, the leaders of the GOP insanity are desperate to maintain their sway over the cult at any cost. The news is getting worse, the facts more difficult to avoid, and the eventuality on the horizon has become impossible to avert. Donald Trump will lose the election…by a lot. Therefore, it has become very important to maintain control of the message, and Parler promises less oversight or fiddling in “conservative” affairs. The GOP Hippocratic oath has come into play: “Do harm to protect your personal interests.” It’s every man for himself. The whole “don’t wear masks, it’s a liberal ploy,” just isn’t panning out on Twitter.

To Parler we go!!!

Nevermind the absurdly competing notions of seeking to hold a social platform to account for content, and simultaneously tout the virtues of a social platform that promises to not censor content. Wait, we’re supposed to lament the lack of accountability and also champion the lack of accountability? Yes.

I can tell you with certainty, as is, there will never be a noteworthy presence of liberals on Parler. For the most part, it is exactly what groups other than conservatives, trolls, and conspiracy theorists DO NOT want in a social platform.

On paper, Parler is not all that different from Twitter. Conceptually, it’s the same thing. You have to lift up the hood to see the differences, aside from the cosmetic. The real-life experience on Parler is, you can get away with a lot more inflammatory language then you could on Twitter (F-bombs, smack-talking, trolling, and utter nonsense ’til the cows come home) Update-I got banned. Parler is not about free speech, as noted here.

I could go over each individual difference in the User agreement and TOS, because it is true, there are differences to be found. This is not an exact and entirely complete list.

What is prohibited:

First, let me say, there is no legal power or immunity an online platform can grant you in the face of the law. There is no legal protection in what is allowed and what isn’t on a social platform. Therefore, that Parler decided, for whatever reason, to state several types of felonies that would not be acceptable, does not imply that other felonies are A OK. It simply doesn’t matter what their stance is. Similarly, and the GOP seem to have a great deal of trouble understanding this, we *do not* have all of our constitutional rights on a social platform. We don’t. We do not have a right to free speech, we do not have a right to assemble as we see fit. We have very little in the way of “rights”. What we do have is an agreement, that we are agreeing to when we log on, whether we have read the agreements or not.

TwitterParler
Threaten violence against groups or individualsxx
Glorify violencexx
May not promote terrorismxonly of US identified groups
Targeted harassment or incite others to itx
Promote hate speechxx
Suicide or self-harmx
Sensitive media (porn violence)xx
Doxxingxx
Non consensual nudityx
Spamxx
Platform manipulation (bots)x
Interfere manipulate civic processes (voting)x
Impersonation, deceptionxx
Synthetic manipulated mediax
Unsolicited advertisementsxx
Hateful imagery (swastika)xonly of US identified groups
Inciting fearx
Slurs, epitaphs, racist or sexist tropesx
User name squattingx
Copyright infringementxx
User consents to royalty free use by servicexx
Access to A Pi’s via application processx
Libel defamationnot specifically mentionedx
Blackmail extortion bribery criminal solicitationnot specifically mentionedx
Child sexual exploitationnot specifically mentionedx
May be terminated for any reason or no reasonnot mentionedx
Forced arbitration?x
Forced no class action?x
Forced indemnification, you pay services expenses?Developers onlyx
Share information about you to third partiesxx

Furthermore, even in Twitter’s extremely thorough agreements, they state that even if they change the agreements, they will not enforce changes retroactively. Guess what, they could change the agreement to say they are now allowing new rules to be enforced retroactively. Twitter or Parler could unceremoniously kick your ass out for any reason or no reason at all. Even though only Parler’s agreement says they can do that, the fact that it isn’t delineated in Twitter’s agreement, doesn’t alter the fact they can do it.

Most of the similarities or differences in Twitter and Parler’s agreements don’t really matter. There are a few…that really, really do matter quite a bit.

Parler’s CEO John Maetz answer to censorship is: “I don’t see why you need to censor the president’s tweets,” he said. “If you don’t like what he has to say, vote him out of office.”

*Bots. Not allowed on twitter (of course they exist). Not disallowed on Parler. Which, in this case, with their 30 man workforce, implies no effort will be made to locate them. The opposite is true. On Parler, you are encouraged to use a govt. issued ID to prove you *are not* a bot.

*Interference in civic processes. This means anything to interfere: such as mislabeling or purposeful misinformation. (wrong place to vote, wrong time to vote, incorrect requirements, incorrect candidate information, etc.) Strictly not allowed on Twitter. No mention on Parler.

*Synthetic or manipulated data. Strictly not allowed on Twitter. No mention on Parler.

Take these 3 items as a whole, and there’s potential to do a lot of harm. Post manipulated data concerning candidates, elections, or any civic process (fake, altered vids or soundtracks, faked documentation), get some groovy hashtags to identify it, employ an army of bots to amplify it, and ka-boom. Mass confusion and misinformation.

To conservatives this would be representative of the “Marketplace of ideas,” to be voted on for truthiness in the town square. An expression of our First Amendment rights. It may not be real or true, but it’s right.

Recently there was an interesting story on “Last Week Tonight,” highlighting Kpop’s efforts to not only undermine the Trump Campaign’s reservation system, but to also drown out the #whitelivesmatter hashtag to the point where it was unintelligible and meaningless. It’s neat. But, if the answer to contrary ideas or downright misinformation, like that which is allowed on Parler, is to drown the internet into meaninglessness, I have to wonder if we are reaching the event horizon of the Internet’s “Golden Age.” I’m exaggerating a little, but not much.

*Forced Arbitration. Not on Twitter. Yes on Parler.

*No Class-action lawsuits. Not on Twitter. Yes on Parler.

*Forced indemnification. Not on Twitter. Yes on Parler.

These three together pretty much means, Parler is not going to be responsible for anything. If you manage to file a successful claim against them, your only recourse is forced arbitration. Not only that, you are going to pay for their legal expenses if anyone drags them into court regarding content you upload. You may not form a class against them. Their interests are your sole interest.

In this light, moving to Parler in response to Twitter’s “lack of accountability,” is laughable.

I do think we need some really carefully crafted laws in place to protect both online social platforms, content providers, and services. This is becoming unavoidable.

It is also evident that what remains of the GOP cannot get out of their own way. They want to live in a fact free social world of strong feelings. They want lies and misinformation to be worth the same as truth and facts to the point where everything becomes meaningless. They want social media companies to be policemen of constitutional rights that do not exist. It doesn’t make any sense.

Parler’s community is so lopsided, their CEO. is offering any high profile liberal $20,000 to make a home there. Go ahead take the money and run because Parler, as it stands, will never be anything other than an echo chamber for the delusional, profoundly misguided, and the dregs of society. This does not mean that Twitter is perfect, they are not, but in the current undefined environment, they are doing acceptably well enough.

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As a side note, I’ve had 3 accounts perma-banned on Twitter. I know why- I broke the rules. That’s life and I ain’t crying about it.

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PS: checked in on Parler after posting this. This appears to be an actual “tweet” in Parler from the CEO:

I’m not entirely sure what he is threatening here, but there are so many things wrong with this. The arbitrary nature of this post, its seeming threat of action from a company officer in public space, and its apparent buy-in to Donny’s fever dream regarding a terrorist designation, indicates a really creepy future for Parler. To me, there is no facade now.

The Inexplicable 2018 Omnibus Spending Package, large excerpts

Ok. I’m reading the 2232 fucking page long, Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus spending package that was written to support the 2018 Budget.  I have to say, right up front, I for one am sick of the disorganized, haphazard, sloppy work of the US Government.  I don’t want to see another fucking bill slapped together with no rhyme, reason, or semblance of order.

Removing the donor-class, lobbyist-driven legislation that government shits out should be job 1.  Without that, all the rest of our worrying and hand-wringing over the current state of affairs is meaningless.  Right now, I’d say that job #2 is passing legislation to force the legislative branches to write goddamn legislation that is organized, thoughtful, and thoroughly rationalized.

I understand this is the golden opportunity for everyone…and I mean everyone including lobbyists, to insert their own little piece of pork barrel, anonymously…yes, anonymously, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be compiled with order, reason, and justification.  That being said, let’s just go ahead and serve up some of the nuggets from this incredible work with example #1 of what this inane process produces:

page 1042: Ruh-roh Donny. According to 2018 Omnibus Spending Package, Trump can no longer lie.

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Fake news is no longer acceptable!!!!  WOOO HOOOOOO.  This little clause is just sitting all alone.  Not in relation or as reference to anything else.  It doesn’t say how “deliberately false or misleading,” is to be determined or by whom.  It doesn’t say how redress is sought or point to any other law or legislation.

Does that include any work by any federally paid employee in any venue?  Surely it covers federally issued electronic and communication devices.  Surely it covers any and all forms of federally disseminated information such as speeches, webpages, or physical documentation.  Right?

Right?

I can’t help but think someone inserted this at 2am in the morning as a fucking joke.

page 1042: This is just above the preceding clause.

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Now why is this so much more specific and delineated? Why is it just for those in a scientific advisory committee?  Why wouldn’t this extend to everyone?  Exactly what federal employee is political affiliation a necessary qualification?  At least these guys are covered.  I mean, this administration hates all scientists as a rule anyway.  Fact-based truths that don’t match up with the administrations ideology is the disqualifier anyway.

 

page 596: GOP makes sure to increase the flow of dark money into their coffers.

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page 491: related to above.

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The problem with this provision is best described in this story about the hidden, dark money additions in this spending bill:

“Another provision, first implemented in a 2014 spending bill, prevents the IRS from issuing guidance or changing rules related to how the agency decides whether a non-profit group spending money on politics is a “social welfare” 501(c)(4) group under the U.S. tax code. 501(c)(4) groups are not required to disclose their donors and are allowed to engage in political activities so long as politics is not its “primary activity,” a murky standard that the IRS tried to clarify before it was prevented from doing so by spending bill riders.”

Page 617-618: Pruitt and Zinke, this ones for you!

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Go ahead and read that again.  If a company or organization made campaign contributions to a federal employee, whom might have occasion, to oversee whether that company or organization receives a federal contract, no one can ask of the company or organization to provide information that the federal employee is unduly influenced by said contribution.  This fits in very nicely with the Administration desire to sell off or lease public lands to the fossil fuels industries for some righteous raping.

Page 1519: interesting insertion here.

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Page 619:  Oh no Donny!  Going to have to pay for this one yourself.

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Page 2199: very interesting.

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Removing Section 9013 is removing the effective date of all of the serious-as-a-heart-attack laws regarding campaign finance.  Each individual section of this code has it’s own effective date, pretty much.  So I’m not sure if removing the effective date for the entire chapter throws the laws into limbo, or what the fuck it does.  I don’t understand why this is selected for removal and why there’s no further explanation or justification.

What kind of stuff is covered in this chapter?  This-

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Fox News Sued for Fake News, large excerpts from Rich family lawsuit

A second lawsuit is filed against Fox News, Fox News reporter Malia Zimmerman, and Republican Donor and frequent Fox guest Ed Butowsky.  The first lawsuit filed against the same parties was from the private detective, Rod Wheeler, in this truly disgusting and purposefully orchestrated effort to make appear that the murder of former DNC staffer Seth Rich was related to the fabricated narrative that Rich had been the true source of Wikileaks hacked DNC emails.  All of this fabricated to give the Trump administration and the fucking Russians cover from having had any benefit or involvement in what was the true goal and instigating parties to the DNC hacks in the first place.

There was exactly zero reasons to make the connection between Seth Rich and Wikileaks release of the stolen emails except for one convenient coincidence in that Wikileaks published the stolen emails on July 22, 2016.  Seth Rich was killed in a botched robbery on July 10, 2016.  That is all that Fox news’ Zimmerman and Butowsky required to create this entire story.  It was around the same time.

Butowsky won the trust of Seth Rich’s parents and hired the private detective Wheeler, on their behalf, supposedly with the intent of finding their son’s killer, when the true intent was to use Wheeler as a tool to further the narrative Butowsky and Zimmerman had already cooked up: Seth Rich leaked the emails to wikileaks and the Clinton campaign somehow attempted to block the investigation into Rich’s death.

A key component to this Butowsky and Zimmerman creation was passing along to Wheeler the “fact” that Seth Rich had been in touch with Wikileaks, and then quoting Wheeler as the source of that information as he was the hired investigator.

From the Rich family’s lawsuit:

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That news article was shared by Butowsky with Sean Spicer, who was being kept informed of the story and also allegedly shared with Trump himself who approved of the entire process.  Also, not surprisingly, Julian Assange in this video lends his support to the entire fabrication, by his very clever suggestion just weeks after rich’s murder, that people get killed when they give him information.

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Thereafter, Wheeler (who didn’t know he was about to be the fall guy), Butowsky and Zimmerman go about hyping the story to various outlets and particularly Fox talent in order to create a seemingly well sourced and generally accepted “truth”.  Of course our boy Sean Hannity can’t get enough of the shit once he gets his hands on it.  Butowsky want’s to keep his name out of it, because he already has his patsy in Wheeler and a “true believer” in Zimmerman.

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Here’s towards the end of the life cycle of this honest to goodness, actual, fake news, where you can sense this shit is about to fall apart:

 

Wheeler is suing the above mentioned for the damage done to his career and lose of future earnings, which in this case, is for real and true, a real consideration and not one of those throw-away, add-on items in a lawsuit just for the hell of it.  This dude got cooked for his unwitting part in this scheme.

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This is how Fox News does it:  Create or locate a source, have third parties be responsible for reporting the source, and then quote the the third party’s statements as a news story, thereby making it “true”.

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This is just unbelievably awful stuff.  You can understand the Rich family’s suit is not a frivolous thing.   Just fucking awful:

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The Rich’s are seeking at the least $75k for what they have endured at the hands of Fox News.  Look, no amount of money is going to bring their son back, but in this case…the way these poor people were abused by Fox and it’s agents, for Fox’s own gain and Fox’s running political interference to further their own agenda and attempt to absolve the Russians, Trump’s benefit thereby, and simultaneously dirty the name of Seth Rich…I’m fucking pissed and we all should be.  This is a fucking outrage.

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