“Ban him @discogs, just in case,” from musician Damon Krukowski was one of the tweets that raised a smile after Twitter and a host of other social and video platforms banned or suspended US president Donald Trump’s accounts.
The crackdown en masse by mainstream platforms also sparked debate about where Trump and his supporters will move, online-wise.
Social app Parler, which has become a haven for far-right wing people, was the obvious choice, but in the days since that app has been hit by a crackdown of its own.
Google suspended it from Android’s Google Play store; Apple kicked it out of the iOS App Store; Amazon is suspending its cloud hosting services; and according to Parler CEO John Matze “every vendor from text message services to email providers to our lawyers all ditched us too on the same day”. Cue an inevitable debate about censorship and tech-platform power.
There are important points in that, too, although Parler’s supporters are notably keener to focus on ‘censorship of right-wing views’ rather than to grapple with the specific allegations that the app was being used to plan violent disorder, and that its moderation efforts around this were lacking.