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Parler’s Lead Investor Is Rebekah Mercer

Jeff Horwitz and Keach Hagey, reporting for The Wall Street Journal (News+ link):

After The Wall Street Journal reported on the Mercers’ ties with Parler, Chief Executive John Matze confirmed that Ms. Mercer was the lead investor in the company at its outset and said that her backing was dependent on the platform allowing users to control what they see.

Some of the people familiar with the matter said Parler was a Mercer family investment. Ms. Mercer, in a post on Parler after a version of this article was published, said that her father had no involvement or ownership of the company. Mr. Mercer couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Ms. Mercer said in a separate post that she and Mr. Matze “started Parler to provide a neutral platform for free speech, as our founders intended.” She said the effort is an answer to what she called the “ever increasing tyranny and hubris of our tech overlords.”

The Journal doesn’t link to Mercer’s posts (perhaps because Parler makes them very hard to find permalinks to if you’re not signed in), but they are here and here. The Mercers, if you’re not familiar with them, are the money behind Breitbart and other wingnut propaganda efforts.

The whole thing boils down to a “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” mentality. You’re either on board with spreading any and every bit of wingnut propaganda (pre-election: Hunter Biden’s laptop was a major scandal being overlooked by legit new media who were in the bag for Biden; post-election: the election was rigged against Trump, but, somehow, not rigged against House, Senate, and state legislature Republicans) or you’re the enemy. Thus Twitter and Facebook are the enemy. This, despite the fact that Facebook is such a conservative echo chamber that its list of top-performing link posts, day in and day out, is dominated by pro-Trump voices.

It’s not enough. Fox News isn’t enough for these lunatics, because however conservative Fox News’s opinion slant is, their news is still actual news, like, for example, that Biden soundly beat Trump in the election. So, now they have Parler — a Twitter-like social network funded by the family that funded Cambridge Analytica. To say these people operate in bad faith is to give “bad faith” a bad name.

Do be sure to read Parler’s privacy policy (PDF), which makes Facebook look like it’s fully committed to protecting privacy.

Monday, 16 November 2020