Who emerged the winner from the presidential debate between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden?
To many, it was hard to tell. It seemed like cacophonous chaos, the night producing less a victory for either man than an overall loss for a country that had to sit through 90 minutes of barbs, cross talk and ill will. But the crowd on Parler, a new social media app that courts conservative America, including the far right Proud Boys, seemed to reach a more definitive conclusion: That this was a total victory for Trump.
“People were on Parler tonight because they can freely express their views without fear or being throttled, banned, deplatformed,” says John Matze, the app’s founder. He sees Parler as an alternative to Twitter and Facebook, the mainstream platforms that Matze and others believe try to silence conservatives. “Overall I think their Parler experience contributed to a fair and free election.”
Parler, founded in 2018, has become a beacon for Republicans during the past few months, and in June, Trump publicly flirted with the idea of leaving Facebook and Twitter to concentrate efforts on Parler. He didn’t, though he, his son Eric, and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani all made official accounts and became active on the app. So did plenty of Trump supporters. At one point this summer, Parler was getting 500,000 downloads a week, and its user base