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REVEALED!

Revealed: Tory MPs and commentators who joined banned app Parler

41 comments to REVEALED!

  • Mr Ed

    It gets worse, I can report:

    At least 14 Conservative MPs, including several ministers, cabinet minister Michael Gove and a number of prominent Tory commentators breathe air and drink water, activities engaged in by the far right, including people making threats of violence and racist slurs.

    But also, in the OP, we note the following horror:

    platforms like Parler attracted a motley crew of ultra-libertarians, violent extremists and conspiracy theorists, as well as more mainstream ‘free speech fundamentalists.’”

    The question is, why would any adult take The Guardian seriously?

  • Bendle

    “…platforms like Parler attracted a motley crew of ultra-libertarians, violent extremists and conspiracy theorists, as well as more mainstream ‘free speech fundamentalists.’”

    This quote is from Milo Comerford, senior policy manager at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), not the Guardian, though. It’s a very subtle point, but if anything the Guardian is slightly distancing itself; a sub seem to have put “free speech fundamentalists” in inverted commas* to signify that it’s a phrase that is used by some people, but not endorsed by the publisher.

    *Unless of Comerford could have supplied the quote as it is via email, in which he wouldn’t be endorsing it either.

  • Paul Marks

    “Guardian newspaper wishes to end what is left of Freedom of Speech and create a totalitarian society” – in other shock news, water-is-wet. People who buy the Guardian know exactly what they are buying, and they buy it for articles such as this – not in spite of articles such as this.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Mr Ed, you can also report that the Institute for Strategic Dialogue is deeply concerned to discover that dialogue can occur without them.

    I take your point, Bendle, but that headline did make me laugh. As if it took courageous investigative reporting by a crack team of Observer journalists to uncover an announcement on a social media platform. To be fair (as no doubt you know given the biz you are in but a surprising number of people don’t) the headline was probably written by a sub-editor rather than by Mark Townsend.

    Michael Gove was once Dominic Cummings’s boss. Relations between them are said to have cooled but I doubt Mr Gove has forgotten the lesson of 2016, that votes are to be found in places where the respectable middle classes rarely go.

    Parler’s advertising manager will be pleased by this story.

  • Mr Ed

    Parler now has a landing page with the following message as I type:

    @john
    John Matze
    01/16/2021
    @John
    Hello world, is this thing on?

    Technical Difficulties
    Now seems like the right time to remind you all — both lovers and haters — why we started this platform. We believe privacy is paramount and free speech essential, especially on social media. Our aim has always been to provide a nonpartisan public square where individuals can enjoy and exercise their rights to both.
    We will resolve any challenge before us and plan to welcome all of you back soon. We will not let civil discourse perish!

  • We will resolve any challenge before us and plan to welcome all of you back soon. We will not let civil discourse perish!

    I hope they’ve got backups then.

  • A

    They found Tory MPs who believe in free speech?

    I am truly shocked.

  • Bendle

    “As if it took courageous investigative reporting by a crack team of Observer journalists to uncover an announcement on a social media platform.”

    Yes I agree Natalie. For me – and I realise I have a different perspective than most other posters – it’s a non story anyway because Twitter has also hosted “violent and racist threats” of many different kinds, and noone condemns MPs for being on there.

    Thanks for your courteous response btw.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Mr Ed
    We will not let civil discourse perish!

    What is wrong with uncivil discourse? Can we have that too?

  • Well, at least they only revealed them and didn’t expose them.

  • Phil B

    @ Frazer Orr

    What is wrong with uncivil discourse? Can we have that too?

    Of course you can but only if you are of a left wing persuasion and/or of a certain melanin enhanced ethnicity.

    Q.E.D.

    https://theferalirishman.blogspot.com/2021/01/i-have-no-idea-where-all-talk-of.html

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Bendle,

    “…platforms like Parler attracted a motley crew of ultra-libertarians, violent extremists and conspiracy theorists, as well as more mainstream ‘free speech fundamentalists.’”

    This quote is from Milo Comerford, senior policy manager at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), not the Guardian, though. It’s a very subtle point, but if anything the Guardian is slightly distancing itself; a sub seem to have put “free speech fundamentalists” in inverted commas* to signify that it’s a phrase that is used by some people, but not endorsed by the publisher.

    *Unless of Comerford could have supplied the quote as it is via email, in which he wouldn’t be endorsing it either.

    I see Natalie’s response to this comment and, while I don’t disagree with what she said, I want to point out two things she did not mention.

    1. What quotes newspapers/media provide from “experts” or “think tanks” etc are important because they help provide “context” to the readers and thus help shape their understanding of the subject at hand. What the quotes from experts/think tanks etc included by the editors actually say, particularly those quotes included in the first several paragraphs, are incredibly important in shaping the understanding of most readers.

    By providing a highly misleading quote the Guardian has misled its readers and purposefully shaped its readers understanding in a way that is inaccurate, wrong, unfair, and misleading. In other words, this is an example of Fake News.

    2. If anything, The Guardian is MORE CULPABLE – not less – for providing a quote so early in their article that is misleading than it would be by just saying it outright itself. Because by providing a quote from what appears to most readers to be an authority, The Guardian has not only pushed a false narrative but also put a veneer of mainstream acceptability on an intentional misunderstanding of the subject at hand. Shameful.

    What would make this incredibly shameful is if this was done to excuse the egregious acctions of Big Tech and the Democrats. Couldn’t possible be, right?

  • Shlomo Maistre

    What would make this incredibly shameful is if this was done to excuse the egregious acctions of Big Tech and the Democrats. Couldn’t possible be, right?

    What would make this even MORE shameful than it already is if this was done to provide cover for the egregious actions of Big Tech and the Democrats. Couldn’t possibly be the case, right?

  • Valerie

    Fraser Orr,
    What’s wrong with uncivil discussions? I’m sick to death of the word “discourse”, a word largely used only by leftards to begin with.

  • Agammamon

    Wait, Parler was *banned* in the UK?

    Or is it that the Guardian doesn’t know what its talking about?

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Wait, Parler was *banned* in the UK?

    Or is it that the Guardian doesn’t know what its talking about?

    Neither. The Guardian is Woke like 98% of the media and routinely intentionally obfuscates the subject matter by mischaracterising what has happened to mislead its readers in accordance with a Fake Narrative. Incidentally, this Fake Narrative favors the Left. A coincidence, I’m sure!

  • Stonyground

    I never thought that I would live to see free speech being regarded as a bad thing. It started with the free speech butters saying ‘Oh yes I’m fully in favour of free speech but…’ to which I would reply well if there is a but you’re not in favour of free speech then are you? These people did understand that free speech is a good thing and absolutely essential to any kind of free society. Now we actually have idiots who use the term free speech fundamentalist. Well, with the obvious caveat about directly inciting violence, I am proud to call myself a free speech fundamentalist.

  • itellyounothing

    Don’t buy into their world view.

    If they decide you are the fundamentalist, you are immoral already.

    Flip the view, free speech is what tyrants hate.

    Repeat.

    Do not give into their frame. They have taken enough ground already.

  • Bendle

    Shlomo,

    “What quotes newspapers/media provide from “experts” or “think tanks” etc are important because they help provide “context””
    It’s interesting you think that’s what quotes are for. When I was trained, I was taught that they provide opinion and colour as opposed to more objectively reported facts. I don’t say that’s what this one does, I’m talking about the principle. The idea is to balance them, which is why Darren Grimes appears at the end.

    Of course I agree with your that the emphasis given to the quotes and speakers reflects the editorial bias of the publisher. A right-wing newspaper might have reversed the order.

    You can call it fake news if you want, but it’s the same bias that has existed in newspapers since the 17th century.

    Re “What would make this incredibly shameful is if this was done to excuse the egregious acctions of Big Tech and the Democrats. Couldn’t possible be, right?” You tell me. What process do you imagine might have been operating here?

  • Albion's Blue Front Door

    Imagine, if you will, that listening to what someone says so you are trying to access a breadth of feeling or measure potential support–perhaps finding ways to build an effective rebuttal–now condemns you to being a ‘supporter’ of what has been said elsewhere.

    Would this work against our intelligence services? That listening in to a potential enemy’s broadcast and making notes classifies you as a supporter of that potential enemy, thus allowing a rag like the Grauniad to stomp on you?

    Maybe we were wrong all along: it isn’t free speech that’s under attack, it’s free listening.

  • I am proud to call myself a free speech fundamentalist.

    Me too. Extremism in the pursuit of liberty is a virtue. As for the Guardian, if it was at all possible for my low opinion of this despicable piece of trash to get any lower, it would, but I’m pretty sure I’ve reached rock bottom.

  • Bendle

    Agamammon/Shlomo

    “Wait, Parler was *banned* in the UK?

    The “banning” refers to Apple/Google/Amazon et al.

  • The Pedant-General

    “Wait, Parler was *banned* in the UK?

    Much much much worse than that. “Banning” implies some sort of legislative action. This wasn’t. GAFA simply disappeared it and did so GLOBALLY.

  • John Lewis

    Bendle,

    Few would argue your point that newspaper bias had existed since the 17th century.

    However todays newspapers are peripheral at best. Broadcast and social media are the only real players and overwhelmingly display a left of centre bias. There is no such thing as right wing editorial bias anywhere near the mainstream. As for the balance of quotes from think tanks and experts you refer to, well I must be missing it.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Bendle,

    The “banning” refers to Apple/Google/Amazon et al.

    The problem is that the word mischaracterizes the situation completely. As others have pointed out, the term “banning” implies some type of legislative action. In fact, if you look up the term “ban” it means to “officially or legally prohibit”. Tell me, what official or legal powers are vested in Apple/Google/Amazon?

    The term “banning” is used for things like alcohol prohibition in early 20th century America, not for whatever the fuck just happened to Parler. Unless, of course, one is interested in mischaracterizing the matter at hand.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Bendle,

    It’s interesting you think that’s what quotes are for. When I was trained, I was taught that they provide opinion and colour as opposed to more objectively reported facts. I don’t say that’s what this one does, I’m talking about the principle.

    The principle you speak of is basically compatible with what I said.

    The idea is to balance them

    Sure, this may be the idea in theory. I understand, for example, that journalists are also taught other things in theory – like not to report libelous documents that are unverified. Unfortunately these ideas (among many others) that journalists are taught are not implemented in reality.

    Of course I agree with your that the emphasis given to the quotes and speakers reflects the editorial bias of the publisher. A right-wing newspaper might have reversed the order.

    Right wing newspapers exist, it is true. Newspapers are overwhelmingly left-wing and the media overall is, too. And left-wing media sources (whether newspapers or other types) are not only exceptionally biased but transparently malicious in their persecution, smearing of right-wing populists who are against the system by which the right-wing political parties are controlled opposition. The Fake News Media (whether newspapers or whatever) in America are in blatant collusion with the Intelligence Services, Big Tech, and Democrat Party to enforce strict Fake Narratives about the news, help manufacture consent to anti-American policies, mischaracterize what is happening in the world, demonize opposition, and silence any dissent.

    Other countries’ media are hardly any different – if a Trump became Prime Minister of the UK, for instance, I think the British Media would be easily as malicious, sinister, and misleading as its American counterparts. And no, Boris Johnson doesn’t come close to Trump in terms of standing up to the “System” of Bureaucracy, Globalists, Woke Corporations, Big Tech, China, SJW Left, Lobbyists and Special Interests. Not even remotely close.

    You can call it fake news if you want, but it’s the same bias that has existed in newspapers since the 17th century.

    The only constant in this world, Bendle, is change.

    You are right that the News Media has always had a major bias. I am old enough to remember when CNN was considered by almost everyone to be a legitimate news source that reported the news in a fairly straightforward way, if sometimes with a bit of bias here and there. The bias of the media has always been there. These days in the USA (thanks to Trump) the bias has not only become MUCH MUCH worse but actually exceeded the confines of mere media bias to something that would be considered illegal in most countries (sedition) – the Fake News Media has intentionally disseminated false information in order to undermine the legitimacy and authority of the duly elected POTUS. Not a few times and there, but constantly for YEARS. This is one reason why the Fake News Media is an Enemy of the People.

    Re “What would make this incredibly shameful is if this was done to excuse the egregious acctions of Big Tech and the Democrats. Couldn’t possible be, right?” You tell me. What process do you imagine might have been operating here?

    I rephrased it in my comment 5 mins later:

    What would make this even MORE shameful than it already is if this was done to provide cover for the egregious actions of Big Tech and the Democrats. Couldn’t possibly be the case, right?

    If this was a rare incident then obviously I wouldn’t conclude that there is something at play, but anyone who is not blind sees that this is a routine, constant pattern of virtually all media of pushing Fake Narratives that help the Left, the Globalists, the Corporations, and the Woke. I am glad that you are self-aware enough, as someone who works in the media, not to object to this obvious reality, Bendle. This reflects positively on your judgment.

    I’m not going to speculate on the many possibilities of what might be operating here – there are probably multiple processes operating here – it’s not a simple X causes Y, the world is complex. But the pattern, Bendle, is clear and I’m glad you apparently notice this particular pattern at least.

  • Bendle

    Shlomo,

    it was my misfortune some years ago to have to report on crime in a town in northern England. Pubs routinely banned troublemakers from their premises, and were routinely described as having done so.

    So I disagree that “banning” implies legislative action. The Oxford English Dictionary has five alternate definitions, and none of them mentions “officially” or “legally”.

  • Paul Marks

    Bendle.

    Did the owners of the pubs you went to go to OTHER PUBS and say “ban these people – or we will have cut off your services, make sure that no brewery sells you beer, no generator sells you electricity, and no bank or payment processor will touch you” “and if you carry on we will out pet politicians LOCK YOU DOWN – and we will send a mob of BLM to burn you and your family alive”.

    Did they do that Bendle? No I thought not.

    That is what companies like Google and Amazon do all the time – they think nothing of having taxes doubled on their competitors (Google was behind the doubling of State income tax in Arizona – they are a Corporation, they do not pay income tax, the momp-and-pop stores file under the income tax), or having their pet politicians order an “lockdown” (Amazon and Google love “lock downs” – as do Facebook and the other Social Media companies), or just get “Black Lives Matter” (which the Corporations give vast amounts of money to) to burn your store – with you in it. And they will shoot you if you resist (David Dorn).

    I am sorry if I sound nasty – but I have only told you a small fraction of what is going on. And what is being planned by the Credit Bubble banks and the rest of the “Woke” Corporations.

    Have a nice day now.

    “But Paul – the vast Corporations are not really controlled by Marxists, they are only USING the Marxists, their own form of totalitarianism is closer the ideas of Saint-Simon two centuries ago”.

    Quite true – but not much comfort when they are using their political influence to utterly exterminate dissent.

  • Paul Marks

    At this point there is no more middle ground – no more middle of the road.

    A person is on the side of the totalitarians or they are against them.

    The education system has been under the increasing influence of the totalitarians for a long time – and not just in the United States.

    That is why the government and Corporate bureaucracies are controlled by the sort of people who do control them.

    For example, in the United States one can take clear evidence of crimes to the FBI and they will pretend to care – and then toss the evidence away, as soon as you are out of the door. For they serve the left – they are not interested in the crimes of the left (not anyone – now they the left). Them and almost every other institution – public and private.

    “Who is the custodian of the custodians?”

    Why guards the guards?

    We have found the answer – and the answer is “no one”.

    The days that are to come will be terrible, the horror will be without limit.

    However, some people get though this – and they must keep the flame of liberty alive in their hearts.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Bendle,

    it was my misfortune some years ago to have to report on crime in a town in northern England. Pubs routinely banned troublemakers from their premises, and were routinely described as having done so.

    So I disagree that “banning” implies legislative action. The Oxford English Dictionary has five alternate definitions, and none of them mentions “officially” or “legally”.

    I co-sign what Paul Marks said in response to you. In addition:

    Care to share a link to your source?

    https://www.dictionary.com/browse/ban

    “the act of prohibiting by law”

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ban

    “to prohibit especially by legal means”

    https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/ban

    “to forbid something, especially officially”

    https://www.thefreedictionary.com/ban

    “To prohibit (an action) or forbid the use of (something), especially by official decree”

    “A prohibition imposed by law or official decree”

    Yes the term “ban” can be used in other ways, but a major, global company with a $1 billion valuation are not exactly banned from the ENTIRE world in the same sense as a persona non-grata is banned from a pub. Parler was not banned – and no reasonable person would use that term to describe what happened to them except to intentionally mischaracterize the situation.

  • Snorri Godhi

    At this point there is no more middle ground – no more middle of the road.

    That can be interpreted in different ways.

    I like best what i wrote in a comment on a PJM post (back when Obama was POTUS) when Colin Powell said that conservatives must learn to compromise:
    If you were chained to a suicidally-insane 300 pounds man*, in the proximity of a cliff, would you compromise?

    * Or woman, for that matter. Although i have met at least one 300 pounds man, but no 300 pounds woman.

  • The Pirate Bay has stayed in operation for quite some while despite the fiercest opposition, legal and otherwise. Parler should go to The Pirate Bay, hat in hand, and say “Teach me, Master.”

  • Paul Marks

    Snorri – as you know, Barack Obama was subtle.

    Rather than go for full Collectivism over night (which would have provoked resistance) he concentrated on “little” things such as ending Freedom of Speech in universities – Mr Obama did that by a skilful “interpretation” of Title Nine of the Civil Rights Act – if speech created a bad “environment” for people from certain groups, then the speech would not be allowed.

    This is what has helped produced the generation of “Woke” bureaucrats and Corporate managers who have helped exterminate liberty.

    When they were young, as school and university, they never heard any opinions that were contrary to the left – indeed they were taught that such opinions were CRIMES. So it is no wonder they dismiss and persecute any person who expresses such “Crime Think”.

    At one time Corporate Mangers would have been ashamed (yes ashamed) to push massive tax increases on their competitors – but not now.

    Google pushed the doubling of State income tax in Arizona and they are PROUD of what they did – because the money went to “education”. Must pay the teachers well for pushing the Frankfurt School of Marxism.

    Most (yes most) small businesses are already destroyed in such cities as San Francisco California – Google and Amazon have WON (thanks to the lockdowns imposed by their pet politicians).

    The IRS (the tax collectors) will finish off independent people – under “President Biden”.

    The future will be one of a vast government and a few vast Corporations.

    Saint-Simon – rather than Karl Marx.

  • Bendle

    Paul,

    “I am sorry if I sound nasty”

    I don’t mind what you sound like, but I don’t understand the relevance of your post to the discussion, which was about definitions and usage of the word “ban”.

    Shlomo, each defintion you posted is one of several in each case, that’s my point. “Ban” doesn’t definitively imply national legislation. The OED is here:
    https://www.oed.com/
    I think you need to be a member to use it. I use their app on my phone.

  • Bendle

    As for the use of the word “ban” I suppose we just disagree. If you search it, the term “ban” was very widely used by many different media, but I can see thaty if you think they’re all controlled by the same cabal, that point carries no weight.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Bendle,

    Shlomo, each defintion you posted is one of several in each case, that’s my point.

    May I ask you why you said the following, then?

    The Oxford English Dictionary has five alternate definitions, and none of them mentions “officially” or “legally”.

    Sounds to me like you are changing your argument.

    “Ban” doesn’t definitively imply national legislation.

    Of course! Nobody here claimed it does.

    Let me ask you a question. Lets say a word (any hypothetical word) does NOT “definitively imply national legislation” – would that fact be sufficient by itself or even just helpful at all to determine whether or not that word was used properly in a news headline or news article?

    If your answer to this question is yes, then we are done here.

    If your answer to this question is no, then please show me where you have specifically addressed the reasoning as to why the word “ban” was improper and misleading in this news article. And no, before you beat a dead horse, banning a person from a pub has nothing to do with whatever the fuck happened to Parler.

    I maintain that Parler was not banned – and no reasonable person would use that term to describe what happened to them except to intentionally mischaracterize the situation.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Bendle,

    As for the use of the word “ban” I suppose we just disagree. If you search it, the term “ban” was very widely used by many different media, but I can see thaty if you think they’re all controlled by the same cabal, that point carries no weight.

    3 questions for you:

    1. Controlled by the same cabal? Why would a person who works in media presume that I think that about the media? Very bizarre behavior.

    2. Why are you mentioning that “the term “ban” was very widely used by many different media”? How is that relevant?

    3. Let’s say for the sake of argument that the Media makes a mistake. I know this never happens in reality, but lets just imagine a world in which they make a mistake en masse, all of the media. How would you know? This may relate to your answer to question #2. Introspection can be scary!

  • Snorri Godhi

    Folks, may i, in all modesty since i did not follow your dispute, suggest that you tone it down?

    It seems to me that whether ‘banned’ is literally correct or not, is almost irrelevant. What is relevant is whether the word is loaded, so to speak. Whether the word deceives most readers, who are not as smart as i am.

    (I don’t feel like adding a smiley today.)

  • Snorri Godhi

    Thanks to Paul Marks for his reply.

    Thinking back about my time at the Ivy League in the mid 1980s, it seems to me that American academics were patriotic back then. They thought that Reagan in the White House increased the risk of nuclear war, but otherwise they were patriotic.

    But i don’t think that Obama is responsible for the rot today, not even most of it. That’s because i think that the rot must have been pretty advanced before 2008, otherwise Obama would not have got into the White House.
    (Although, with hindsight, i think that McCain would probably have been even worse in the long term.)

  • Snorri Godhi

    PS: of course, I am aware that the Ivy League was pro-Nazi in the 1930s. But it got better before it became pro-Nazi again.

  • Bendle

    Snorri,

    “Folks, may i, in all modesty since i did not follow your dispute, suggest that you tone it down?”

    Point taken sir.

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