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Parler, alt-right Twitter alternative, has a porn problem

Image: Parler

When alt-right Twitter alternative Parler launched in 2020, its CEO told a reporter, "We're a community town square, an open town square, with no censorship… If you can say it on the street of New York, you can say it on Parler."

Soon after Parler started deleting accounts of left-wing members. Then it banned pornography (which Twitter allows). Eventually, it became more censorious than Twitter, with the exception of allowing hate speech.

Recently Parler revised its terms of service to allow things that Twitter already allows, including pornography. As you might expect, Parler is now a bastion of hate speech and ads for hardcore pornography websites.

From Chron.com:

The [Washington] Post's review found that searches for sexually explicit terms surfaced extensive troves of graphic content, including videos of sex acts that began playing automatically without any label or warning. Terms such as #porn, #naked and #sex each had hundreds or thousands of posts on Parler, many of them graphic. Some pornographic images and videos had been viewed tens of thousands of times on the platform, according to totals listed on the Parler posts.

"When you say, 'We don't moderate content,' you are inviting this content," said Hany Farid, a University of California at Berkeley computer science professor who has helped develop image-detection technology used by social media sites. "My prediction is they will be overrun with this stuff."

Much of the pornographic imagery appeared in posts offering links to adult websites, including those featuring women who offer to perform sex acts online for money or gifts, as well as other websites claiming to facilitate in-person sexual encounters with strangers – something that, experts say, often serves as a front for prostitution.