Different rules at Parler, TikTok and Gab

Different rules at Parler, TikTok and Gab

Jefferson Graham
 
| USA TODAY
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have new rules in place for dealing with misinformation amid the surge during the 2020 election. But what of the smaller social networks that cater more specifically to conservatives and the Fox News crowd?  Parler, currently the 12th most downloaded news app on Apple’s iTunes chart, has attracted prominent conservative voices like Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and Fox News Channel commentator Sean Hannity, along with several people who have recently been either banned or restricted on Twitter, including congressional candidate Laura Loomer and commentator and podcaster Mark Levin.  Along with positive posts about president Donald Trump and complaints that rival Joe Biden is too liberal and not tough on law and order are more contentious posts calling for a new civil war if Biden wins the election. Others come close to advocating riots.Trendong hashtags Tuesday included #civilwar2 #bidenriots and #covidhoax2020. Conservative and done with Facebook? Consider MeWe, Parler or old standbys such as LinkedInNews: Judgment day for Facebook and Twitter: Trump election eve posts provide early Election Day testSo what’s Parler’s policy on this? The website says that it’s to not take down posts. “In no case will Parler decide what content will be removed or filtered, or whose account will be removed, on the basis of the opinion expressed within the content at issue.” However, the company adds that if posts are reported, it wil,l indeed, remove ones that are “posted by or on behalf of terrorist organizations, child pornography, and copyright violations.”Attempts to reach Parler by USA TODAY weren’t successful. Writing for Fast Company recently, Mark Sullivan said of Parler that he “didn’t immediately find the wingnut hellscape I expected,” based on his experience with “the far angrier and uglier Gab,” another social network focused on the anti-Twitter crowd. Gab says it is a “social network that champions free speech, individual liberty and the free flow of information online. All are welcome.”Its CEO appeared on Fox News recently advocating for Trump’s re-election, and in fact he posted Tuesday, “After Trump wins in a landslide no one in this country will ever take a poll or anything the media or Big Tech says as truth ever again.”USA TODAY discovered stories with little fact on Gab Tuesday, including many posts suggesting voter fraud stories, and another saying a troll farm in India was responsible for most of former vice-president Joe Biden’s Twitter following.Gab says political speech protected by the First Amendment is welcome on the site. “We believe that users of social networks should be able to control their social media experience on their own terms, rather than the terms set down by Big Tech.”At TikTok, a social network favored by young audiences for quick videos set to song, members of the QAnon conspirary group had begun posting their, only to find themselves banned recently. TikTok said in mid-October that it was banning content or account that promoted QAnon.”Content and accounts that promote QAnon violate our disinformation policy and we remove them from our platform,” TikTok said. “We’ve also taken significant steps to make this content harder to find across search and hashtags by redirecting associated terms to our Community Guidelines.”A report by Rolling Stone earlier in the year said that COVID-19 and anti-vaccine conspiracy theories flourished on TikTok amid the viral dances with hundreds of thousands of views. On its community guidelines page, TikTok says it won’t allow posts with hate speech, hateful ideology and bullying, among others. “We do not allow dangerous individuals or organizations to use our platform to promote terrorism, crime, or other types of behavior that could cause harm. When there is a credible threat to public safety, we handle the issue by banning the account and cooperating with relevant legal authorities.”Finding TikToks with people complaining that #Covidisfake and that they shouldn’t have to wear masks isn’t hard though. Follow USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham (@jeffersongraham) on Twitter


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