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An Early Look at the Parler Online Social Network


Zannettou,  Savvas
Internet Architecture, MPI for Informatics, Max Planck Society;

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Aliapoulios, M., Bevensee, E., Blackburn, J., Bradlyn, B., De Cristofaro, E., Stringhini, G., et al. (2021). An Early Look at the Parler Online Social Network. Retrieved from https://arxiv.org/abs/2101.03820.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-77CE-A
Parler is as an "alternative" social network promoting itself as a service
that allows to "speak freely and express yourself openly, without fear of being
deplatformed for your views." Because of this promise, the platform become
popular among users who were suspended on mainstream social networks for
violating their terms of service, as well as those fearing censorship. In
particular, the service was endorsed by several conservative public figures,
encouraging people to migrate from traditional social networks. After the
storming of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, Parler has been progressively
deplatformed, as its app was removed from Apple/Google Play stores and the
website taken down by the hosting provider.
This paper presents a dataset of 183M Parler posts made by 4M users between
August 2018 and January 2021, as well as metadata from 13.25M user profiles. We
also present a basic characterization of the dataset, which shows that the
platform has witnessed large influxes of new users after being endorsed by
popular figures, as well as a reaction to the 2020 US Presidential Election. We
also show that discussion on the platform is dominated by conservative topics,
President Trump, as well as conspiracy theories like QAnon.