While mainstream platforms have become more stringent about their moderation in recent days, some claim that stricter rules ultimately push users to darker corners of the internet. This process could inevitably bolster the spread of misinformation, hate speech, and violence.
“These are unmoderated kind of closed spaces where only people with fringe and extremist ideologies spend their time,” Jonathon Morgan, the CEO of Yonder, an AI firm that tracks misinformation, said of platforms like Parler and 4chan, a message board known for hate speech. “That means the information diet that they’re consuming is completely homogenous.” Morgan added that this can make the users of these platforms more prone to radicalization.
It’s not yet clear how long it will take Parler to come back online, or if it even can. Still, the site’s few years of activity have made clear how mainstream social networks’ use of moderation has led to backlash. Even in a world where Parler doesn’t exist, new platforms could still be built as an alternative to Twitter and Facebook.