X

Russia Today Says Social Media App Flooded With Users Fleeing “Twitter Censorship”

November 9th, 2020 13:53

RT (for­mer­ly Rus­sia Today) has post­ed an arti­cle claim­ing that the social media plat­form known as Par­ler is strug­gling with a mas­sive inflow of new users result­ing from what RT char­ac­ter­izes as” Twitter’s lat­est round of cen­sor­ship.” The RT arti­cle cites the exam­ple of user “Carpe Donk­tum” as an exam­ple of such censorship:

Par­ler, the social-media plat­form tout­ed as a bas­tion of free speech, is suf­fer­ing over­load-relat­ed glitch­es as it strug­gles to absorb a mas­sive inflow of new users who were alien­at­ed by Twitter’s lat­est round of cen­sor­ship. “Par­ler has explod­ed,” radio host and Par­ler stake­hold­er Dan Bongi­no said Sun­day on Twit­ter. “We’re adding thou­sands of users per minute, and we’re work­ing out the glitch­es as a result.” He denied rumors that the plat­form had been sold.The surge in new users made Par­ler today’s most down­loaded appli­ca­tion in the US on Google Play, over­tak­ing such plat­forms as Tik­Tok, Insta­gram and Twit­ter. Pri­or to June, Par­ler was aver­ag­ing about 2,000 down­loads. Its user base dou­bled that month, to about 1.5 mil­lion, after Twitter’s ban­ning of con­ser­v­a­tive meme cre­ator Carpe Donk­tum sparked an anti-cen­sor­ship backlash.

Read there rest here.

US media, how­ev­er, has report­ed that Twit­ter actu­al­ly sus­pend­ed Carpe Donk­tum, who used pro-Trump memes, due to repeat­ed copy­right vio­la­tions. The Wash­ing­ton Post has described Par­ler as  a com­pa­ny that “appears to cater to a right-wing base.”

The GIOR report­ed last month on an Alliance for Secur­ing Democ­ra­cy study that includ­ed Rus­sia Today in a group of Russ­ian state-backed media described as follows:

 Russ­ian state-backed media such as Rus­sia Today, Sput­nik, or TASS focused on four key themes: the sad state of U.S. polit­i­cal cul­ture, crit­i­cism of the U.S. media, divi­sions in the Demo­c­ra­t­ic par­ty, and Trump’s refusal to con­demn white suprema­cy. Also, the issue of Russ­ian inter­fer­ence pro­vid­ed an open­ing to ham­mer the U.S. for its alleged “Rus­so­pho­bia.”

Oth­er recent GIOR report­ing on RT has includ­ed an RT OpEd piece sug­gest­ing that US democ­ra­cy is in its “death throes” and a report that White House coro­n­avirus advis­er Dr. Scott Atlas had apol­o­gized for appear­ing on the sta­tion. In 2017, the NYT char­ac­ter­ized RT (for­mer­ly Rus­sia Today) as follows:

Ana­lysts are sharply divid­ed about the influ­ence of RT. Point­ing to its minus­cule rat­ings num­bers, many cau­tion against over­stat­ing its impact. Yet focus­ing on rat­ings may miss the point, says Peter Pomer­ant­sev, who wrote a book three years ago that described Russia’s use of tele­vi­sion for pro­pa­gan­da. “Rat­ings aren’t the main thing for them,” he said. “These are cam­paigns for finan­cial, polit­i­cal and media influ­ence.” RT and Sput­nik pro­pel those cam­paigns by help­ing cre­ate the fod­der for thou­sands of fake news prop­a­ga­tors and pro­vid­ing anoth­er out­let for hacked mate­r­i­al that can serve Russ­ian inter­ests, said Ben Nim­mo, who stud­ies RT for the Atlantic Coun­cil. What­ev­er its impact, RT is unques­tion­ably a case study in the com­plex­i­ty of mod­ern pro­pa­gan­da. It is both a slick mod­ern tele­vi­sion net­work, dressed up with great visu­als and styl­ish pre­sen­ters, and a con­tent farm that helps feed the Euro­pean far right. View­ers find it dif­fi­cult to dis­cern exact­ly what is jour­nal­ism and what is pro­pa­gan­da, what may be “fake news” and what is real but pre­sent­ed with a strong slant.