Parler Forced To Explain The First Amendment To Its Users After They Complain About Parler Turning Over Info To The FBI

from the delicious dept

Parler -- the social media cesspool that claimed the only things that mattered to it were the First Amendment and, um… FCC standards -- has reopened with new web hosting after Amazon decided it no longer wished to host the sort of content Parler has become infamous for.

Parler has held itself up to be the last bastion of the First Amendment and a protector of those unfairly persecuted by left-wing tech companies. The users who flocked to the service also considered themselves free speech absolutists. But like far too many self-ordained free speech "absolutists," they think the only speech that should be limited is moderation efforts by companies like Twitter and Facebook.

And, like a lot of people who mistakenly believe the First Amendment guarantees them access to an active social media account, a lot of Parler users don't seem to understand the limits of First Amendment protections. Parler, like every other social media service, has had to engage in moderation efforts that removed content undeniably protected by the First Amendment but that it did not want to host on its platform. It has also had to remove illegal content and that's where its most recent troubles began.

Over the weekend, the resurrected Parler crossed over into meta territory, resulting in an unintentionally hilarious announcement to its aggrieved users upset about the platform's decision to forward Capitol riot related posts to law enforcement. It really doesn't get any better than this in terms of schadenfreude and whatever the German word is for an ad hoc group of self-proclaimed First Amendment "experts" having their second favorite right explained to them.

Here's Matt Binder for Mashable:

The reaction to the news that Parler "colluded" with the FBI in order to report violent content was so strong on the right wing platform, the company was compelled to release a statement addressing those outraged users.

In doing so, Parler found itself unironically explaining the First Amendment to its user base filled with members who declare themselves to be "Constitutionalists" and "Free Speech" advocates.

Parler's statement spells it out: the First Amendment does not protect the speech shared with law enforcement by the social media platform.

In reaction to yesterday's news stories, some users have raised questions about the practice of referring violent or inciting content to law enforcement. The First Amendment does not protect violence inciting speech, nor the planning of violent acts. Such content violates Parler’s TOS. Any violent content shared with law enforcement was posted publicly and brought to our attention primarily via user reporting. And, as it is posted publicly, it can properly be referred to law enforcement by anyone. Parler remains steadfast in protecting your right to free speech.

That's a very concise and accurate reading of the First Amendment and how it applies to the content Parler forwarded to the FBI. It's not covered. But that hasn't stopped a few vocal complainants from telling Parler to try reading the Constitution again and, apparently, decide it means not only hosting violent content, but refusing to pass these threats on to law enforcement.

The core user base being unable to understand the limits of the right it believes allows it to say anything anywhere is partially a byproduct of Parler's promise to erect a Wild West internet playground for bigots and chauvinists who had nowhere else to go. Once it had some users, Parler realized it too needed to engage in moderation, even if only to rid itself of porn and outsiders who showed up solely to troll its stable of alt-right "influencers."

The January 6th insurrection appears to have forced the platform to grow up a little. Of course, some of that growth was forced on it by the leak of thousands of users' posts, which were examined by journalists and forwarded to law enforcement to assist in identifying Parler users who attended the deadly riot in DC earlier this year. Illegal content is still illegal, and being beholden only to the First Amendment doesn't change that.

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Filed Under: 1st amendment, content moderation, fbi, insurrection, public info
Companies: parler


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  • icon
    Jeroen Hellingman (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 6:04am

    That German word is "Idiot": perfectly understood by speakers of English as well, but if you want something with a more alien sound "Dummkopf" is also appropriate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2021 @ 6:06am

    A lot of neck beards about to learn why it is in fact called the 2nd Amendment...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2021 @ 6:35am

      Re:

      that sounds like a threat

      I hope that wasn't a threat

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Trini O (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 9:24am

      Re:

      LOLOLOL a lot Cosplay 2nd Amendment-ers should really, really, really, really try harder to understand the whole "terms of service/what protected speech is covered by the 1st Amendment" thing. Sorry you hit "I agree" on your Parler account without reading the entire paragraphs above it. I laugh even harder at those of you who WILLINGLY uploaded your government IDS to become "verified users" making it that much easier for you to be tracked by government agencies. Cheers!!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2021 @ 3:47am

      Re:

      Bring it on, cupcake.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 31 Mar 2021 @ 12:11pm

      Re:

      Because you Qmpaloompas only last a second in bed?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Christenson, 30 Mar 2021 @ 6:42am

    Delicious, but....

    I'd like to hear more about
    a) Whether and to what degree Parler is being truthful that it in fact referred posts to the FBI?
    b) What sort of internal maneuvering is likely going on with this announcment, which seems to be a no-win with Parler's users. Is there a hidden DA about to file charges somewhere?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2021 @ 7:04am

    Hope you won't complain when we lose the 4th.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2021 @ 8:25am

      Re:

      Ahh yes! That right to privacy that allows you say what you want on property you don't own and forces the property owner to not disclose it.

      That right to be secure in other people's houses, to be exact.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2021 @ 11:19am

        Re: Re:

        What about the third amendment?

        “No Conservative Internet Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any website, without the consent of said Conservative Internet Soldier, nor in time of culture war, but in a manner to be prescribed by Conservative Internet Solicitors.”

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Trini O (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 10:06am

      Re:

      Lol-I am complaining about you pretense of being a proponent of the "Constitution" while it's clear ya never actually read the thing. You willingly posted, you were proud of what you posted, you wanted other mouthbreathers to laud what you posted but you never stopped to buy Parler. Oops. You don't own the content of Parler and you don't get to dictate what they do with it. Your boy, Trump, actively tried to dismantle Section 230 when he was warring with Facebook and Twitter. Your boy, Trump, created these consequences where social media companies don't want to get sued-they don't want to be held liable for the next San Bernadino, the next Charlottesville, the next MAGAT riot, QAnon...so it's really absurd that you think Parler wasn't alarmed and going to go into damage control. What is absurd is that they supposedly contacted the FBI "50 Times" had they cared and looked it would've been more like 750 times and it's completely negligent that they were like "yo-these people are psychos-let's tell the FBI...should we take this down and block the users though?....Nahhhh..." Try thinking before you post. And please, read the Constitution and Section 230-Congress going after that would to the detriment of us all.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 1 Apr 2021 @ 2:15am

      Re:

      "Hope you won't complain when we lose the 4th."

      Because unreasonable search and seizure is comparable to investigating what some gormless moron trumpeted into an open forum with a bullhorn?

      Seriously, you trumpian cultists really go the length when it comes to new ways of pushing the boundaries of what words like "stupid" will cover.

      Parler - or any other social media platform - turning over posts inciting violence to law enforcement is about as controversial as the bar owner calling the police about a bunch of patrons who have taken to pinning up post-it notes of plans to commit violent crime all over the walls of his bar.

      The US constitution is many things. Your personal wish fulfillment fantasy, not so much.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2021 @ 7:08am

    What Parler should have said:

    Parler was founded in response to the cancel culture which unfairly attempts to silence conservative speech. Our growth shows that there is a large community of conservatives who do not wish to be silenced.

    Parler provides this community with an even larger audience when we forward its speech to third parties. This is in line with our mission to ensure that our users will continue to speak freely and to be heard.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 10:37am

      Re: What Parler should have said:

      It's working really well so far ;)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 10:56am

      Re: What Parler should have said:

      Parler were founded because angry right wingers haven’t progressed since adolescence and think that being edgy absolves them of social responsibility, and the Mercers recognized them as easy marks. If that means the rest of us don’t have to deal with them, that’s fine, just don’t call for outright communism when they fail to attract the same audience numbers as the places adults hang out.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 11:04am

      Re: What Parler should have said:

      [Asserts facts not in evidence]

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2021 @ 11:52am

      Re: What Parler should have said:

      "silence conservative speech"

      What conservative speech is being silenced? What conservative ideas do you consider wrongly silenced?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2021 @ 12:13pm

      Re: What Parler should have said:

      What was that supposed to have done for Parler, exactly?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2021 @ 1:01pm

      Re: What Parler should have said:

      I think some folks missed the sarcasm in the OP.

      Parler provides this community with an even larger audience when we forward its speech to third parties. This is in line with our mission to ensure that our users will continue to speak freely and to be heard.

      The 3rd party in this case would be the FBI...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Bloof (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 1:41pm

        Re: Re: What Parler should have said:

        Yeah, it's very much sarcasm. Kind of sad that it's getting this hard to tell conservative beliefs from parody at this point.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Samuel Abram (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 6:01pm

          Re: Re: Re: What Parler should have said:

          Hence, Poe's Law and why Sidney Powell and Alex Jones believe "Nobody reasonable could believe what I was saying!" is an affirmative defense against defamation.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Melvin Chudwaters, 30 Mar 2021 @ 7:12am

    I'm not sure I like the phrase "violent content". It seems bizarre and confusing to me.

    Mind you, I'm not referring to video content, which might well have recorded violence (and would be evidence of an actual crime).

    Rather, if we are talking about purely textual content, then the content itself cannot be violent... it can only describe violence. It might describe violence that has already occurred, or it might describe hypothetical/potential violence that will occur in the future. But those words, no matter how offensive, don't represent violence itself.

    Perhaps this is a flaw in the English language, that the adjective can both be used to mean "these words describe violence" and "these words constitute violence". Or maybe we're all just lazy. I do not know.

    There are those who would not agree with me, including modern legal theorists and legislators. It is a crime in many places (including federally) to make threats of violence. Even these people though (the legal theorists and the legislators) do not suggest that just any description of violence is a threat... they define these things narrowly such that the words taken in their full context are understood to be a serious promise of that specific violence. Someone blustering about how all the politicians need to be "dealt with" doesn't meet those narrow criteria.

    Parler sucks, Trump supporters suck, and it nauseates me to feel like I'm defending them. But the reactionary jackassery that they have provoked nauseates me even more. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

    Finally, Parler is managed by cowards. In most if not all cases the speech they are snitching on isn't illegal, does not constitute crimes or evidence of crimes, and they are not required to police it themselves even if it were. It's not even speech they disagree with. So the only reason to snitch is if they were wimpering, sniveling cowards. Which, I have to admit, doesn't surprise me at all about them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2021 @ 8:22am

      Re:

      they are not required to police it themselves even if it were.

      Technically true, I guess. But if they don't police federal crimes themselves, then they will be liable in civil court for all such crimes. So in practice, they are "required" to police what crimes may exist.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Melvin Chudwaters, 30 Mar 2021 @ 8:49am

        Re: Re:

        That isn't true either.

        Who would they be liable to in civil court, if their users committed speech crimes and they failed to police it? Those users would be liable. No one else. That comes down to section 230, does it not? (Excepting sex crimes specifically, what with the new FOSTA bullshit I don't claim to understand.)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Samuel Abram (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 8:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Who would they be liable to in civil court, if their users committed speech crimes and they failed to police it? Those users would be liable. No one else. That comes down to section 230, does it not?

          Not really. §230(e)(1) specifically exempts Federal Criminal law:

          Nothing in this section shall be construed to impair the enforcement of section 223 or 231 of this title, chapter 71 (relating to obscenity) or 110 (relating to sexual exploitation of children) of title 18, or any other Federal criminal statute.

          [ED: emphasis mine]

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Keroberos (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 11:49am

          Re: Re: Re:

          They could be held liable by anyone harmed by the violence that was called for and planned in those posts.l

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Melvin Chudwaters, 30 Mar 2021 @ 2:29pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Anyone can sue for any reason.

            Claiming that I'm liable because some whackjobs comes into my restaurant, sit down at a table, and discuss a massacre is beyond absurd. Yes, it is a business, yes I made money from them when they paid the tab. But I'm not the table conversation police. There is no reasonable obligation on my part to do that.

            Parler isn't the conversation police. They only have an obligation to do something once speech is reported to them as being criminal... which is a hell of a phrase for me to type out, if we can be honest.

            People keep throwing around words like "incitement", which is something altogether different. Incitement, even if it is a real thing and not some batshit fever-dream hallucinated by the thought police, is something that can only happen in person, in the immediate area.

            You can't incite someone to do something 3 weeks later. From a computer screen in another state. You need to be out on the street, screaming at them to lynch that man or burn down that store. That's incitement.

            Without that criteria, then any speech/expression anyone makes can become incitement months later or years later, whether they ever intended for that or not.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Rocky, 30 Mar 2021 @ 2:47pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              People keep throwing around words like "incitement", which is something altogether different. Incitement, even if it is a real thing and not some batshit fever-dream hallucinated by the thought police, is something that can only happen in person, in the immediate area.

              You can't incite someone to do something 3 weeks later. From a computer screen in another state. You need to be out on the street, screaming at them to lynch that man or burn down that store. That's incitement.

              No, the definition of incitement to a crime doesn't classify by which means you communicate. It can be done with a megaphone or through social media, the means doesn't matter, just the act and the intent.

              Without that criteria, then any speech/expression anyone makes can become incitement months later or years later, whether they ever intended for that or not.

              You can't just make up a criteria like "oh, this speech isn't in person, therefore it doesn't matter". What you say have consequences regardless of that medium you use. If we would go by your definition, it leads to some really absurd ramifications. One of those absurd ramifications is that incitement to murder stops existing if it's done online, or any kind of incitement to a crime for that matter.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Melvin Chudwaters, 31 Mar 2021 @ 11:03am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                No, the definition of incitement to a crime doesn't classify by which means you communicate.

                You're plainly wrong. Incitement to crime really does classify how the communication occurs. It has immediacy. If you write a book which no one much likes until 40 years later someone reads it and commits a massacre, you haven't incited that massacre.

                This is why, for instance, it's always used in criminal prosecutions relating to riots. There is an immediacy to the incitement. They have no time to think or deliberate on your words and choose not to commit mischief, vandalism, and other crimes. The mood of the crowd takes over.

                None of these things are present in "social media incitement".

                You can't just make up a criteria

                I'm not making it up, I'm thinking things through. You're making shit up... you've already decided you want them punished, and now it's just time to twist ideas and principles into a knot that allows it. It's kind of sick, if you ask me. It'd be one thing if you were citing statute and case law that contradicted what I've asserted but you're too lazy for that. You're just stating what you want to happen as if it were fact.

                If we would go by your definition, it leads to some really absurd ramifications. One of those absurd ramifications is that incitement to murder stops existing if it's done online,

                Which, for the most part, it never existed anyway. Sure, you can't go contract a hitman to assassinate people, but "someone should go shoot him" isn't a crime and shouldn't be.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 31 Mar 2021 @ 7:51pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Point ot me the part in the law where it specifices the means of communication required for incitement.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Keroberos (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 2:59pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              If you knowingly let those whackjobs discuss their massacre you are very much liable both criminally and civily. Which it seems is what Parker was reporting to the FBI, posts calling for violence that were reported by other users.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Melvin Chudwaters, 31 Mar 2021 @ 10:55am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I have no moral or legal obligation to become the police. I have no moral or legal obligation to report conspiracies, future crimes, or threats thereof.

                Furthermore, I have no moral or legal obligation to go out in search of these things so that should I find them, I'm able to report them.

                Civil court's always been fucked up and you get bad rulings on such matters, but criminals courts have always made this clear. And I don't know why if you were a sane, rational person you'd want it to be any other way.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 1 Apr 2021 @ 2:24am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "If you knowingly let those whackjobs discuss their massacre you are very much liable both criminally and civily."

                Seriously? No. You're not.

                Morally? Possibly.
                Legally? Not so much.

                And this is a good thing as a thousand comedians, anyone writing in affect, and millions of people discussing fiction and what-ifs can attest to.

                But if you are the bar owner minding their own business while your patrons discuss what might be serious criminal intent, then keeping your silence may make you an asshole and your refusal to act get you in hot water with most normal people, but you certainly aren't obligated to be the unpaid police assistant.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 1 Apr 2021 @ 2:20am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "They could be held liable by anyone harmed by the violence that was called for and planned in those posts."

            No. That's exactly what 230 is for - in other countries covered by basic telecommunications acts - to ensure you are not as a 3rd party culpable for the speech of others.

            Which is a good thing. If I discuss the plot of a novel or in sarcasm the last thing I want to happen is for the platform being a busybody and reporting me to the damn police over it. Down that road we find contemporary China.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Get off my cyber-lawn! (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 11:13am

        Re: Re:

        They may not be required to police themselves NOW....but if those that want to kill Section 230 would make it so they absolutely MUST do so....they are just getting into practice before it becomes a requirement.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Tanner Andrews (profile), 31 Mar 2021 @ 5:10am

        Re: Re:

        if they don't police federal crimes themselves, then they will be liable in civil court for all such crimes

        Citation needed, or at least some theory of liability ought to be set forth beyond the conclusion that ``they will be liable''.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Keroberos (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 11:47am

      Re:

      "Violent content" in this case refers to posts calling for and planning a violent protest, which is very much illegal and not protected speech under the first amendment. Not taking it down and reporting it to the authorities would leave Parker open to criminal charges from the government and potential civil liability from anyone harmed.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2021 @ 12:15pm

      Re:

      Video content can't be violent per your definition either. It merely describe a thing that happened by using colorful light and shadow.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Keroberos (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 2:49pm

        Re: Re:

        Umm how not? Any speech that is calling for or planning violence is not protected under the first amendment. It doesn't matter how it's distributed -- in person, in a book, through the mail, on the phone, a flyer, a social media post, a YouTube video, or bloody smoke signals -- it's illegal. Speech that is illegal is illegal, regardless of the method of distribution.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Tanner Andrews (profile), 31 Mar 2021 @ 5:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Any speech that is calling for or planning violence is not protected under the first amendment.

          You should explain this to the Supreme Court, so they can correct their ruling in Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Keroberos (profile), 31 Mar 2021 @ 11:20am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The Court held that the government cannot punish inflammatory speech unless that speech is "directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action"

            Hmm... Looks like the Supreme Court and I are on the same page to me.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Tanner Andrews (profile), 5 Apr 2021 @ 4:21am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              calling for or planning violence

              An imminent threat is required. Merely ``calling for or planning violence'', which is what you said, is most assuredly protected.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 1 Apr 2021 @ 2:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Any speech that is calling for or planning violence is not protected under the first amendment. It doesn't matter how it's distributed -- in person, in a book, through the mail, on the phone, a flyer, a social media post, a YouTube video, or bloody smoke signals -- it's illegal."

          Not quite correct. For incitement to apply you need to link several factors - and this is possible to do with the benighted morons who posted they wanted to storm the capitol, stormed the capitol, took selfies of themselves storming the capitol, and left DNA evidence in the form of a pile of poop behind.

          But Parler - or Facebook, Twitter, or even the local bar - is certainly not obligated to report to the police what their patrons are discussing. If that was mandated in law this world would be a scary place where the only way people talked to each other in was in hushed whispers. The DDR still stands as a pretty awful historic standard there.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    icon
    restless94110 (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 8:21am

    Curious

    It is astonishing this article. First there is the smearing of Parler for no reason. It's just a place where people can speak their mind. You know? Like Americans do?

    Then there is the failure to report that Parler has been gelded anyway. It came back but not before the censorship of anti-American "moderation" was agreed to.

    Then there is the idea that people gathering on January 6th were doing anything illegal. And the corollary that the FBI is an honest organization. Astounding that anyone could believe that.

    The government's case is falling apart day by day on the non-insurrection that had no arms and that the cops let in without any push back whatsoever. Judges are challenging the no-bail nonsense. Testimony in Congress reveal there were no arms and there was no insurrection.

    Therefore, the FBI wanting private speech from Parler is unconstitutional. They have no right to any of that.

    Remember, the suppression of American rights that you fervently support here in articles like this, will, come back to you, and your own rights will be suppressed.

    Wait for it. It's coming. Meanwhile, keep writing this nonsense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2021 @ 8:44am

      Re: Curious

      First there is the smearing of Parler for no reason. It's just a place where people can speak their mind. You know? Like Americans do?

      Right! And if they're just speaking their minds, it's also Parler's right to speak their minds to the FBI for something that's taking place on their property, no?

      They have no right to any of that.

      Hmmm. did you miss this part?

      Any violent content shared with law enforcement was posted publicly and brought to our attention primarily via user reporting. And, as it is posted publicly, it can properly be referred to law enforcement by anyone.

      Seems like you conservatives should just shut the fuck up. I mean, livestreaming your felonies was a dumbass move. And that stupidity lies squarely with the morons who did it.

      But let's not argue over conservatives being idiots. Let's focus on that statement, which was from Parler itself. Your problem is with them, isn't it?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 1 Apr 2021 @ 3:07am

        Re: Re: Curious

        "Seems like you conservatives should just shut the fuck up."

        Credit where it's due. Restless94110 and his good buddy Shel10 aren't run-of-the-mill republicans. At least the rest of the GOP is still shy of using actual stormfront rhetoric about the liberal "Lügenpresse", and tend not to reveal their hand about the "lesser races" quite so openly.

        No, good old "restless" here is a bona fide example of the modern american Proud Boy and white supremacist. Too much of a chickenshit to say his actual opinion out loud, even anonymously, unless he's in a mob.

        Say what you like about the old monsters; Hitler at least couldn't be called a coward too shy to say his piece, unlike his modern fan base who'll spend pages trying to imply they aren't a bunch of racist dickheads scared that whitey's about to become a demographic minority in the US.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      morganwick (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 9:00am

      Re: Curious

      Then there is the failure to report that Parler has been gelded anyway. It came back but not before the censorship of anti-American "moderation" was agreed to.

      Are you saying that any and all moderation on any platform is "anti-American" "censorship"? That everyone has a right to post harassment and violent content and companies don't have a First Amendment right to decide they don't want to host such content or provide a platform for the people who post it because they feel removing such things would be better for their standing in the marketplace?

      Then there is the idea that people gathering on January 6th were doing anything illegal.

      I suppose all those reports and images of MAGAheads taking over the Capitol, forcing Congress to suspend the certification of the electoral college results, and Congresspeople fearing for their lives are all fake news, as are all the guns that have been confiscated from the "people gathering".

      The government's case is falling apart day by day on the non-insurrection that had no arms and that the cops let in without any push back whatsoever.

      That says more about the cops than about the "non-insurrection".

      Remember, the suppression of American rights that you fervently support here in articles like this, will, come back to you, and your own rights will be suppressed.

      Techdirt is a pretty libertarian site that often notes that trying to limit rights to the "big guys" or "bad guys" often ends up hurting the "little guys" or "good guys" more. If they think you don't have the right to violently storm the Capitol and disrupt the workings of government, and that advocating the violent overthrow of government isn't protected speech and isn't a slippery slope to suppressing things that actually are protected speech, maybe, just maybe, it's because you guys really are the baddies. Or at the least, that maybe Fox News and all the other outlets that tell you what you want to hear might not be "honest organizations".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2021 @ 12:20pm

      Re: Curious

      • First there is the smearing of Parler for no reason. It's just a place where people can speak their mind. You know? Like Americans do?*

      You know, "smearing", or "having an opinion about something" also means people can have thoughts about (gasp!) Parler and it's denizens. Like people do. Like the people on Parler like to smear other people and things. Everyone can do it, not just you.

      People can speak their minds in lots of places.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bloof (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 1:58pm

      Re: Curious

      Parler was never a place where americans can speak their mind, it was a Mercer funded radicalisation petrie dish and data farm.

      It became useless for that, and 'gelded' as the attempted insurrection and the resulting removal from app stores destroyed it's ability to reach beyond the people who feel they're not quite racist enough for GAB.

      They forced their way into a place offlimits to the public, destroyed property, recording themselves doing so, and they beat a policeman to death.

      They recorded themselves comitting crimes, they admitted it across all social media, posed for photos and videos with metadata. There is no question what they did was illegal, the only question is how harsh the punishment will be, probably not as harsh as they deserve because they're middle class and white.

      If it's unconstitutional to gather evidence of crimes, the american justice system is in even more in need of root and branch reform than I thought.

      Americans do not have the right to commit crimes without punishment, no matter how white and conservative they are.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 4:07pm

      Re: Curious

      "First there is the smearing of Parler for no reason."

      Oh no, 'smearing'. Clearly articulated criticism must be just shocking for you to endure.

      "It's just a place where people can speak their mind. You know? Like Americans do?"

      As is Techdirt, and countless other places that are allowed to express their opinions of Parler and their users. Seems like an odd double standard you have there.

      "Then there is the idea that people gathering on January 6th were doing anything illegal."

      The people gathering and protesting outside the Capitol were indeed not doing anything illegal. Nobody has seriously suggested otherwise. We're curious about your opinion of those who took things a bit further though...

      "And the corollary that the FBI is an honest organization. Astounding that anyone could believe that."

      Nobody here has ever lauded the FBI as an honest organization. The criticism aimed at FBI over the years by Techdirt is extensive.

      "The government's case is falling apart day by day on the non-insurrection that had no arms and that the cops let in without any push back whatsoever."

      There is so much public video evidence of the exact opposite of what you claim it's hard to give you even a shred of credibility.

      "Testimony in Congress reveal there were no arms and there was no insurrection."

      Blowhard congresscritters making speeches on the floor that contradict what we all saw with our own eyes is not "testimony", it's gaslighting.

      "Therefore, the FBI wanting private speech from Parler is unconstitutional. They have no right to any of that."

      Parler handing over incriminating content from their privately-owned website is perfectly constitutional and legal. If you have an actual argument for why it's not, do share.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 1 Apr 2021 @ 2:59am

      Re: Curious

      "Then there is the idea that people gathering on January 6th were doing anything illegal."

      Like breaking through doors and windows, beating policemen to death, and storming through the corridors chanting they wanted to hang a person who was within the building, you mean?

      Yeah, that's illegal. As hell.

      Maybe you could make the case the guy who just pooped on the rotunda floor at least downgraded to civil disobedience, tasteless though it might be, but the rest? Most of them are on selfie camera willingly confessing sedition.
      Why am I not surprised to see the local Stormfront resident eager to pitch his own view on the Beer Hall Coup? Especially given how upset you were at all the BLM protests who caused far less harm, exercised less violence, and had far better reason.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 3 Apr 2021 @ 10:08am

        Re: Re: Curious

        I take a morbid interest in the amount of disinformation peddled to the Trumpers, though I can't take it for long. My understanding is that while Matt Gaetz has been under investigation, the right-wing bubble has been talking about literally anything else and his name hasn't been brought up once. Mainly because he appeared to incriminate himself and Tucker Carlson during their interview.

        Imagine how uninformed those people are about something as important as the insurrection attempts if they can't bring themselves to talk about about something vaguely similar to what Clinton was impeached for...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 5 Apr 2021 @ 1:12am

          Re: Re: Re: Curious

          "I take a morbid interest in the amount of disinformation peddled to the Trumpers, though I can't take it for long."

          I've come to the conclusion that by now, for a significant proportion of those 73 million trump voters, unpleasant weather becomes a "liberal conspiracy". Most of them lost any connection to reality a long time ago and now they've just shoehorned the prophet of the year into whatever religious doctrine they pay lip service to while letting secular liberals take the place of the Great Satan.
          In other words, it's a lost cause to try to follow the various types of disinformation they peddle. It's like counting bacteria growing exponentially in a nutrient solution.

          So I stopped even trying to follow the individual falsehoods. These days I just look at the currently desired end result, and assume the thousands of shady rumors spread as "fact" by the alt-right is part of their quest to reach that result.

          Naturally no one wants to discuss Gaetz. The revelation that the alt-right influencers are even more corrupt and venal than the liberals they keep screaming about would be a crushing blow to the people floating on top of the "conservative" bubble today.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bobby Frock, 30 Mar 2021 @ 9:09am

    The right will say left wingers make threats on twitter

    “So why cannot I they will say. It’s free speech when the left does it but when the right does it it’s investigated by the FBI.” That is what the right wing websites are saying. I am not saying I agree. Just giving right wing talking points

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 9:56am

    I miss civics...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rocky, 30 Mar 2021 @ 10:24am

      Re:

      And it seems a lot of people missed civics classes...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 3:44pm

        Re: Re:

        Well they stopped having them in the 60's so kids wouldn't learn their rights and be like those uppity hippies.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          R.H. (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 5:47pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I had a civics class in high school. In fact, I remember watching the twin towers fall live in civics class in high school. That was an interesting coincidence. That event caused some of my classmates to join the military upon graduation and it convinced others (myself included) not to do so.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That Anonymous Coward (profile), 31 Mar 2021 @ 3:57pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Sadly you are the exception rather than the rule.

            Civics most often was replaced with social studies, with less than a chapter or 2 about the bill of rights & Constitution & focusing on how great we were compared to everyone else.

            Educators (and others) enjoy lording over a mass of people who do not understand they actually have rights beyond what the powers that be want to let you have.

            911 made some people want to 'get even' & others to examine how did we get to a point where people felt justified in murdering innocent people a world away... while ignoring that we were murdering innocents a world away in the name of "freedom".

            I remember how people panicked during the great NE blackout automatically assuming it was a terror attack & not just a shitty Canadian power company not keeping their lines clear & a system not maintained to avoid exactly this event because it would NEVER happen to us.

            Hell if we could just get to where people stop screaming about their 1st Amendment rights being violated by everyone but the government that would be a huge victory.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 Apr 2021 @ 6:07am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Shitty Canadian power company? Since when has Ohio been part of Canada?

              I humbly suggest you CHECK YOUR FACTS before you go around gratuitously insulting people.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Paul Alan Levy (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 10:24am

    Letting Parler off tooo easily?

    Mike, I wonder whether you might be letting Parler off too easily for its compromises with the "system."

    Speech that incites violence does not lose its First Amendment protection unless the violence is imminent and likely. At least, that is the current standard under Brandenburg v. Ohio. Has each and every one of the incitements provided to the FBI met that standard?

    To be sure, some people have called for loosening those requirements. But it is my sense that Parler is turning information over to the FBI, or at least not fighting requests for information, because it is conforming to real world pressures from the government and from hosting services, however “pure” they may claim themselves to be

    Related question: is Parler voluntarily providing information to the FBI, or is it responding to search warrants?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 11:18am

      Re: Letting Parler off tooo easily?

      is Parler voluntarily providing information to the FBI, or is it responding to search warrants?

      That's a good question to which I want to know the answer as well.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2021 @ 12:26pm

      Re: Letting Parler off tooo easily?

      It's public material and the relevant agencies could have found it themselves. The only difference being Parler was offline for a bit.

      Parler provided posts. No company fights the government over providing that which is already public. Brandenburg would certainly apply at trial or when smarter LEOs and prosecutors make decisions about arresting or charging someone. "Oh hey, this post isn't planning insurrection, and this person never posted anything promoting violence, etc. Probably nothing to do here." Except maybe if they already know the person actually did partake in illegal activities on January the sixth. There just are no relevant Parler posts of them planning to do so.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 12:50pm

      Re: Letting Parler off tooo easily?

      Based upon their explanation they're only forwarding public posts that other users or staff have reported so I don't really see how that would involve the first amendment either way until and unless the government acts upon those posts, and even then any first amendment concerns would be regarding the government's actions, not Parler's, since I'm not aware of anything in the first amendment that prohibits private persons from notifying the government of questionable speech.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Tanner Andrews (profile), 31 Mar 2021 @ 5:33am

      Re: Letting Parler off tooo easily?

      Has each and every one of the incitements provided to the FBI met that standard?

      Surely not. But who should decide, at the early stage?

      If Parler is providing the information voluntarily, or even if they allowed the public to see postings on the service and some academic archived and passed along those postings, then there is still no First Amendment problem. A person has a right to petition the government, and surely facially legitimate complaints to law enforcement fall within that.

      If Parler is providing information under pressure from its hosting company, well, that is between them: no First Amendment problem for the hosting company to decide what sort of service it wants to host.

      If Parler is providing information under pressure from the FBI, well, that is between them and the FBI. But police have long lied and coerced people as part of investigation and interrogation, and that is generally upheld so long as the Miranda [v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436] warnings are given prior to custodial interrogation. There are some limits, Brown v. Mississippi, 297 U.S. 278, but they are often set at extremes or hand-waved to achieve a result.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    crade (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 11:11am

    "Parler has held itself up to be the last bastion of the First Amendment and a protector of those unfairly persecuted by left-wing tech companies"

    Didn't they drop that pretense like a hot potato with the whole feces selfies in the comment section thing? Sure even the first amendment doesn't protect insurrecting violence but parler isn't pretending to apply that standard to their moderation as if they were government anymore anyway?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 11:30am

    'That's not what I want the law to say!'

    For such self-professed fans of the first amendment they don't seem to know anything about what it actually says and means, and instead act as though it just means they they should be able to say whatever they want without consequences, something which has never been the case as free speech has never been shorthand for consequence-free speech.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2021 @ 6:31pm

      Re: 'That's not what I want the law to say!'

      You think people are pretending the first amendment means what they want it to mean? Try: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" for giggle.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bluegrass Geek (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 1:50pm

    Keep in mind that when Parler types say "1st Amendment," they're using that as a euphemism for "absolute freedom of speech." They thought they were getting a site where they could say anything they wanted without consequence, not realizing they were on a site that actually acknowledged it had to follow the legal definition of the 1st Amendment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      crade (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 2:33pm

      Re:

      They are using it as a euphemism for Slavers freedom. They don't care being free to speak since no one is preventing that or hindering it in any way whatsoever. What they want is to be "free" to force someone else to do all the work of carrying their speech to the far corners of the earth for them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bloof (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 2:51pm

      Re:

      They thought they were getting a site where they thought they could say anything they wanted, with any users that challenged them or treated them the way they treat others getting banned. You know, the kind of freedom of speech they want for the rest of the internet.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Oblate (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 5:58pm

    That's not all they're going to learn about...

    Sounds like a bunch of them are also going to get their Miranda rights explained to them!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 1 Apr 2021 @ 3:54am

      Re: That's not all they're going to learn about...

      "Sounds like a bunch of them are also going to get their Miranda rights explained to them!"

      They're at the point of stupid that by now I fully expect a lot of them to holler "You can't do this, I'm a white man!" as if that was actual logic and law.
      I mean, I can understand they'd make the assumption, given the last few centuries worth of messaging by law enforcement, I just can't see how you can find literal thousands of snowflakes so ignorant and entitled they don't get why storming the seat of government would be considered illegal when they themselves have been falling all over themselves for months trying to come up with the legal framework required to have the BLM protestors drawn and quartered.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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