Parler, the rightwing knockoff of Twitter that’s not Truth Social, accidentally exposed the personal email addresses of some of its most elite members on Monday. Rushing to tell them about the company’s acquisition agreement with the artist formerly known as Kanye West, top brass sent out an email that CC-ed a group of VIP members rather than blind carbon copying them. The result was that droves of partisan ghouls like Tim Pool and Laura Loomer had their email addresses shared with one another.
News of the unintentional doxxing was initially shared by Adam Ryan, a newsletter writer, who tweeted Monday that the thread had exposed “the personal emails of many verified users and Parler investors.” The people on the list were those with “gold badges”—an elite status marker given out to accounts held by “influencers, celebrities, journalists, media organizations, public officials, government entities, businesses, organizations, and non-profits.”
Among the affected account holders were high-profile members of the conservative upper crust, including staffers for Sen. Ted Cruz and former President Donald Trump, Handmaid’s Tale aspirant and Daily Wire contributor Matt Walsh, and Eric Trump’s wife, Lara Lee, The Daily Dot has reported. Other sources report that even people like Ivanka Trump and former Trump social media director Dan Scavino were affected by the breach.
Shared screenshots of the email show the company notifying its gold badges about the platform’s “monumental new [Yeezy] chapter” and lauding the users as “an invaluable part of the Parler family and experience.” The email, for obvious reasons, didn’t inspire much gratitude: one outed user sarcastically quipped, “Hi everyone! It’s a pleasure being doxxed with such a fine crew.” Other members reacted with surprise that they had even been included in the “VIP” list at all, claiming they’d lost interest in the site long ago: “I have had no interest or trust in Parler since 2021 when I was banned from its platform without cause,” L. Lin Wood, an election-denying former Trump lawyer, told The Daily Dot.
It’s unclear whether Parler ultimately acknowledged the mistake or did anything to rectify the situation. Gizmodo reached out to the company for comment and will update this story if they respond.
As far as data breaches go, this one obviously isn’t that bad. Given the incestuous nature of elite society and partisan politics, it seems more than likely that a lot of these people probably had each other’s contact information already. Still, it’s never a good look for a tech company to go handing out its users’ personal information—that’s just basic data etiquette. But it’s no secret that Parler isn’t great at data security. Last year, the company had a pretty unfortunate data kerfuffle, in which hacktivists scraped all available public data on the platform and then uploaded it to the Internet Archive for safekeeping.