In fall 2020 I was making a lot of really bad life decisions. I don’t know if it was the stress of the pandemic, the chaos in my personal life, or my journalistic obligations to stay up on tech news, but for some reason I decided to sign up for Parler. That wasn’t the biggest mistake I made that year, but it’s one that still haunts my inbox. My Parler account came with an unexpected perk: an invite to the company’s whiny, spam-ridden email list.
Parler is a self described “uncancelable [sic?] free speech platform,” i.e., a social media service for conservatives that won’t ban you for hate speech. The barely-used website made headlines this week when Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, announced he’s buying the platform. The news came days after Ye’s tweeted promise to “go death con 3 on Jewish people,” which got his Twitter and Instagram accounts suspended.
Agreements to buy companies typically don’t happen overnight, so you have to imagine the Parler deal has been in the works for a while. Of course, the timing is just a coincidence. Ye just happened to feel like tweeting something that seems tailor-made to get your account suspended, and he just happened to think of it one week before buying a social media platform that doesn’t censor what he calls “conservative opinions.” Ya’ know, conservative opinions like “Jews are bad.” Definitely not a cynical manufactured controversy. Just a big, antisemitic coincidence.
The sporadic emails Parler sends me and the other sorry individuals on its listserv are a good sample of what you’ll see if you’re one of the few people who actually use the “uncancelable” social network: nastiness, a lot of cry baby complaining, and charlatans trying to bilk innocent people out of their money.
Here are five of of the worst examples.