Downloads of two lesser-known social media apps posing as the antithesis of Facebook and Twitter have increased since Joe Biden was declared the winner in a controversial presidential election involving unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud.
The apps, Parler and MeWe, have attracted hundreds of thousands of new users, especially among curators. They overtook traditional heavyweights TikTok and Zoom to become the # 1 and # 2 most downloaded apps on Monday, according to the iPhone App Store.
How to speak, are MeWe marketed?
The tagline under the Talking name on the App Store is “impartial social media.”
When users click on the logo, the description box reads Speak as “an impartial and open social media focused on protecting user rights”. Its website also describes the app as providing “real conversation” without bots and “a higher ethical standard” than some of its traditional competitors.
âParler believes people have a right to safety, privacy and freedom of speech,â the website says. âAll personal data is kept confidential and is never sold to third parties. Our concise community guidelines are based on fair and equitable legal precedents, and are enforced by a community jury.
Talk was launched in 2018, and its 27-year-old founder and CEO, John Matze, told Forbes in July that the Liberals were a “”very small part of the population (user).
MeWe officially launched in 2016, founder and CEO Mark Weinstein said in an article for Medium. He describes the app as a “movement” designed “to give the social media industry a new, positive disruption”.
It is touted online as the anti-Facebook – no facial recognition, no advertising, and “no news feed or manipulation of common content on other social media platforms,” ââMeWe’s description states in the App Store.
Who uses these social media sites?
Conservative politicians have amassed a significant following on Speak and MeWe – starting with former U.S. congressional candidate and far-right activist Laura Loomer.
Loomer ran on the Republican ticket to represent Florida’s 21st Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, but was defeated by outgoing Democratic Representative Lois Frankel. loom was previously banned on Twitter and Facebook for posting content, the social media giants have said they violate their policies against hateful behavior and “dangerous individuals,” CNET reported.
She has garnered more than 574,000 Parler subscribers since her arrival in 2018, according to the media outlet.
Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York and lawyer for President Donald Trump, is also on Speak. He is joined by Republican Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, as well as Rep. Devin Nunes and right-wing scholar Stefan Molyneux, USA Today reported.
Republican representatives Jim Jordan and Elise Stefanik as well as former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley are also on the app, according to CNBC.
the Trump campaign and the president’s son, Eric Trump, use Talk, Forbes reported.
Why there is renewed interest
Google Trends shows that searches for “Speak” increased between 3:00 am and 6:00 am on Monday. Research firm Apptopia told Fox Business Parler’s downloads doubled election week – from 150,000 in the week of October 26 to 310,000 in the week of November 2.
Analytics company SensorTower said the app generated around 200,000 downloads last month, Newsweek reported, and in an article on Sunday, Matze wrote that Talking had attracted two million new accounts.
“We expected a million people today … but 2? You are crazy, âhe wrote, according to Newsweek.
The flood of new users is due in part to Facebook and Twitter‘s renewed crackdown on the spread of disinformation in the run-up to the 2020 elections.
Amid unfounded accusations of voter fraud as officials in major battlefield states counted votes on November 6, Business Insider reported nearly a dozen “Stop the Steal” groups had materialized on MeWe. âStop the Stealâ has been the rallying cry of those who claim Democrats rigged the election for Biden – a sentiment that has been echoed by Trump without factual backing.
The day before, Facebook closed a group of 365,000 people protesting against the counting of online votes “for having violated its policy of inciting violence”, according to the media.
What the critics say
Matze told Forbes that Parler would not have fact-checkers or forms of censorship.
âA police officer is not going to arrest you if you say a bad opinion,â he said. âI think that’s all people want. This is what they like.
He also said the app was not meant to appeal to a pro-Trump audience and that he didn’t particularly like the Democratic or Republican parties, CNBC reported. In June, Matze told the outlet the company would give $ 20,000 to a liberal expert with at least 50,000 followers on Twitter or Facebook to join Speak.
âWe first attracted conservative users because they felt deprived of their rights through other social media platforms, âMatze said in an email sent through a spokesperson to the Washington Post.
Parler’s user agreement, however, states that it may “delete all content and terminate your access to the Services at any time and for any reason, âKSAT reported.
Some more liberal users also said they were started from the app.
“Rather all my friends on the left have joined Parler fuck with the folks at MAGA, and each one of them was banned in less than 24 hours because conservatives really love free speech, “tweeted a Twitter user dubbed” Respectable Lawyer “on June 26.
Matze said the Speaking guidelines do not restrict free speech, telling the Washington Post the goal is to “create a real public square without people ruining it by violating it with speech not protected by the First Amendment. or FCC guidelines “.
But Daniel Kreiss, a media professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said moderation is hard to ignore on social media.
âThat’s the irony – moderation of content is still necessary,â he told The Post. âIt all depends on where you draw the line. “