Social media platform Parler wins over millions as some raise red flags about the site

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Ann-Cherie Harden opened an account on Parler a year ago, long before the social media platform became a big hit, particularly among conservatives and supporters of President Donald Trump.“I did that then so I would have a means of communication if Facebook and Twitter decide to monitor or censor private posts and try to control what I can share,” the Whittier woman said, adding that she now sees many others have joined her on the platform billing itself as “the world’s town square.”
Harden is not imagining it. Parler is getting more crowded.
The lure of free speech
In July, Parler had a reported 2.8 million users. Within a week of the Nov. 3 election, however, that number had grown to more than 8 million. That week alone, Parler gained more than 3.5 million users, putting it at the top of Apple’s App Store list of free apps. Other social media platforms such as Rumble, Gab and Newsmax are also gaining new users. So far, none approach the popularity of Twitter with its 330 million active users and Facebook with 2.7 billion.
Among conservatives using Parler, the platform’s promise to make free speech the norm is attractive.
“Speak freely and express yourself …

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