Unmoderated Doesn’t Work
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, poking at the Parler mess:
Every few years, there’s some quote-unquote free-speech platform that gets founded in response to changes or policy changes that have been made. But the thing that all these platforms ultimately realize is that you hit a ceiling because people actually do want moderation because there’s always going to be some portion of the user base that exploits it to the point where people are just, like, Oh, this is annoying. Either they consider it spam or they just consider it just sort of low-effort content. The great irony here is all these platforms fail because it turns out there’s only a small number of people who actually want a fully unfettered, unmoderated platform.
Reddit is no haven of online moderation perfection, but they do pretty OK considering the scale they are at.
I’ve never been on Parler. By the time I’d heard of it, all the talk was how awful it is and how it’s being shunned. It didn’t take John Gruber long to get the vibe:
… trust me, having spent more time today digging into Parler than I’d recommend to anyone, Parler is a haven for fucking Nazis. Like, however many Nazis you think are cavorting on Parler — and let’s just say for the sake of argument that you’re a pessimist and you think there are a lot of them — there are more than you think.
Then there was this big data dump of everything on Parler, including deleted messages, which had metadata including geolocation data. Which makes it extra ironic now that they are “back” and talking about why they started the platform: privacy. Ryan Broderick:
Parler’s homepage now features a message from its CEO, John Matze, promising to let users back on soon. I have to say, I think it’s very bold of Matze to claim Parler is somehow defending internet privacy seeing as how it inadvertently got all of its users doxxed by antifascists last week because it was too much of bumbling Republican dark money cash grab to remember to clear EXIF data from its media uploads.
Maybe they should make the new site http:// only too, and talk about how secure it is. And make the database password “admin”.