Parler

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Parler App Poster Image
Twitter clone for conservatives promotes conspiracy sources.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Ease of Play

Makes it easy to find people to follow, both high-profile conservatives and friends (though it makes the high-profile people easier to find). 

Violence
Sex

Adult images are allowed on the platform, though none appeared during review. 

Language

Some commenters use obscenities like "piece of s--t" when discussing opposing political views. 

Consumerism

Fox News is heavily promoted, as are other conservative news outlets. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol is mentioned in some posts. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Parler is a social media app that's built around far-right conservative beliefs and highlights a very distinct political agenda. While the platform doesn't prohibit people of other beliefs from joining, promoted people to follow include Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Tucker Carlson, and other conservative activists and politicians. The site also gives prominent placement to conspiracy theory proponents, including Infowars. Some members get quite animated discussing liberals and use profanity. The site also allows adult images, although none appeared during the testing period. Note: The app was banned from the iOS App Store and then returned with more AI filtering and blocking tools. However, the  Android version -- which isn't in the Google Play store but is available for sideloading -- remains the same. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDhole1169 January 8, 2021

Glitches and errors

The site contains racism and nudity and supports false information. a lot of tags such as #proudboys
Adult Written byTom McGovern December 4, 2020
Teen, 13 years old Written byTongey January 8, 2021

Twitter but not that terrible

Just stay away from the extremists, most of the time it’s better than twitter though.

What's it about?

PARLER came to be in the aftermath of Twitter, Facebook, and other traditional social media channels' move to flag posts that promoted unsubstantiated information or blatant misinformation. The site makes no bones about the fact that it's for an ultraconservative audience, encouraging users to follow people like Sean Hannity, Ted Cruz, Mark Levin, and other celebrities of the far-right side of the aisle. It has a layout similar to Twitter's, with a scrolling feed of news and updates from people you follow, and a "discover news" section that's much like Twitter's "trending" section. Rather than Twitter's 280-character limit, you have up to 1,000 characters to get your point across in posts, which can be written statements, links to stories, GIFs, and memes. 

While it claims to be a vehicle for free speech, it also states that it can and will ban users for any or no reason. However, the developers have stated that they'll never ban hate speech. To earn verification, users can upload a picture of their government-issued identification. Those wanting to be included in the Influencer Network also need to share their social security number. 

Is it any good?

This "safe space" for those with conservative views also features sources that promote dangerous conspiracy theories that are not supported by facts. Political views aside, the app is largely a clone of Twitter's layout and features, only with a more generic layout. It's bland looking for now, but the focus is on the content -- and in steering people to follow leaders in the conservative party (both media and in Congress). 

What's most concerning is how the platform embraces sources that have a history of disseminating conspiracy theories, such as Infowars, which had 217,000 followers at the time of our review. There's no vetting of information, and that creates an echo chamber that gives parties seeking to sow discord an incubator. This is a site where it's definitely worth the time to read the community guidelines before you agree to them. And because asking for pictures of ID and social security numbers is an extraordinary step for any social media company, parents definitely want to be wary should their kids hope to raise their profile here. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about strategies to discuss controversial topics and political points of view. What are some ways to approach those conversations?

  • Talk about conspiracy theories and news literacy. Why is it important to find confirmation of news with other verified sources? Why can conspiracy theories be dangerous?

  • Discuss social media bubbles. What are they, and how do they work? Talk about algorithms and how ads and news are often fed to us so that we don't see other perspectives. What are the risks of seeing only content that aligns with your own beliefs? How are beliefs different from facts?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: November 10, 2020
  • Category: News
  • Size: 124.00 MB
  • Publisher: Parler LLC
  • Version: 2.34
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 10.0 or later; Android 5.0 and up
  • Last updated: May 19, 2021

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