A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love discussing the news
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.