It has a nice name in French: Parler. This new social network is a kind of mix between Twitter and Facebook and the number of users has exploded since the US election: it has grown from a few million to over 10 million. The mobile app even tops the Apple Store and Google Play Store.
Why such a success ? If people are to be believed, they come to Talk to escape the supposed censorship of Twitter and Facebook. Since the major platforms have taken the issue of content moderation head-on, in particular by reporting inaccurate tweets, even those from Donald Trump, the dissatisfied are going elsewhere. Speaking does not apply the same rules of moderation and therefore gives the image of a much freer universe where all ideas can be expressed.
Speaking has thus become the landmark of the Republican camp, which is indignant at the defeat of Donald Trump. There are political figures, such as Republican Ted Cruz, who are deeply involved in the fight against alleged ballot fraud. There are also a few French people, like the former Front National MP Marion Maréchal Le Pen, a regular contributor since last July.
When you scratch a little, you also come across downright racist, hateful or conspiratorial content from white supremacists or members of the QAnon movement.
Founded in 2018, Parler is owned by American billionaire John Matze. It was funded in particular by Rebekah Mercer, the daughter of financier and billionaire Robert Mercer. However, Parler’s audience does not yet compete with that of the web giants, so those who do are not completely leaving Twitter. In addition, if the problematic content becomes too numerous and ends up meeting a large audience, it is likely that it will be difficult for Parler to in turn save some moderation.