Opinion | The battle over truth looks likely to play out on a new suite of social-media alternatives

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Twitter-analog Parler saw a short-term surge in popularity when the original Twitter labeled a tweet of President Trump’s for the first time this summer; following the election, Parler’s user base has ballooned again, along with a rise in audience for MeWe (a little more like Facebook) and Rumble (more like YouTube). The upside of the shift in Twitter’s and Facebook’s tactics is, of course, that the most harmful lies on the Internet can no longer spread unchecked to billions of users who never sought them out. The downside is that those who do seek them out by leaving for an edgier alternative are far less likely to be exposed to counterclaims — and more likely to fall forever down the rabbit hole.Whether these alternative platforms can really replace their inspirations is dubious. The bigger sites still have the alluring advantage of being, well, bigger. And radicalism on the Internet has always thrived on baiting the other side into arguments, a tactic called “trolling” or “triggering the libs.” There are no libs to trigger in a conservative echo chamber. More likely, the Parlers of the world will turn into staging grounds of sorts for movements the progenitors …

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