Lawmakers single out Parler in call for ‘robust’ FBI probe into Capitol Hill riot

Lawmakers single out Parler in call for ‘robust’ FBI probe into Capitol Hill riot

Lawmakers
are
asking
the

FBI
to
investigate
the
role
free-speech
app
Parler

a
social
media
platform
favored
by
conservatives
and

President
Donald
Trump’s
supporters

played
in
the
Capitol
Hill
riots,
though
planning
and
discussions
also
occurred
on
other
popular
social
media
platforms.

In
a
letter
to
FBI
director
Christopher
Wray,
House
Oversight
Committee
members
Reps.
Carolyn
Maloney,
D-N.Y.,
and
James
Comer,
R-Ky.,
requested
a
“robust
examination
of
the
role
that
the
social
media
site
Parler
played
in
the
assault
[on
the
Capitol],”
including
its
potential
use
in
planning
and
incitement,
as
a
repository
for
evidence
and
a
potential
conduit
for
foreign
governments
to
finance
civil
unrest.

Google
and
Apple
removed
Parler
from
their
app
stores
shortly
after
the
siege
on
Capitol
Hill
over
its
failure
to
moderate
“egregious
content,”
including
violent
threats
made
against
lawmakers’
lives
and
intent
to
bring
weapons
to
the
Jan.
6
riot.

Shortly
after,
Amazon
announced
it
would
no
longer
host
Parler
on
Amazon
Web
Services,
effectively
taking
it
offline
altogether.

Other
social
media
platforms,
like
Facebook
and
Twitter,
actively
seek
to
take
down
and
moderate
content deemed
inappropriate,

like
violent
acts
amid
protests.

ALEX
BERENSON:
SHUTDOWN
OF
PARLER
IS
BIG
TECH’S
‘MOST
DANGEROUS’
MOVE
YET 

However,
there
were
still
discussions
about
the
riot
occurring
on
those
platforms.
Organizers
for
the
pro-Trump
march
on
Washington
had
open
discussions
on
Facebook
and
Instagram
using
the
hashtags
#StopTheSteal
and
#FightForTrump.

Media
Matters
reported
on
Jan.
5
that
discussions
about
bringing
weapons
to
D.C.
were
taking
place
in
private
Facebook
groups.

As
noted
by

The
Washington
Post,
Facebook
Chief
Operating
Officer
Sheryl
Sandberg
downplayed
Facebook’s
role
in
the
riots
during
an
interview
Reuters

largely
laying
blame
on
Parler.

“I
think
these
events
were
largely
organized
on
platforms
that
don’t
have
our
abilities
to
stop
hate,
don’t
have
our
standards
and
don’t
have
our
transparency,”
Sandberg
said.
She
did
note,
however,
that
enforcement
is
never
perfect.

After
Parler
went
dark,
conspiracy
theorists also
reportedly
took
their
protest
discussions
elsewhere
leading
up
to
President
Biden’s
Inauguration
Day.

According
to

USA
Today,
Facebook
said
calls
for
violence
and
the
risk
of
violence

which
it
has
been
tracking

have
been
high
ever
since
Jan.
6.

A
Facebook
spokesperson
did
not
immediately
return
Fox
News’
request
for
comment.

A
spokesperson
for
Rep.
Maloney
did
not
return
Fox
News’
request
for
comment
as
to
whether
Facebook
would
be
included
in
the
comprehensive
investigation.

In
a
statement
regarding
the
FBI
probe,
a
Parler
spokesperson
said
the
company
will
continue
to
cooperate
with
law
enforcement
efforts.

CLICK
HERE
TO
GET
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FOX
NEWS
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A
U.S.
District
Court
in
Seattle
on
Thursday
denied
Parler’s
request
for
an
emergency
injunction
against
Amazon
while
the
larger
complaint
is
considered.

The
court
said
Parler
failed
to
demonstrate
that
it
would
prevail
in
the
ultimate
ruling
or
that
the
public
interests
would
be
better
served
by
granting
the
injunction.

Parler,
which
was
founded
in
2018,
was
“built
upon
a
foundation
of
respect
for
privacy
and
personal
data,
free
speech,
free
markets,
and
ethical,
transparent
corporate
policy.”

Some
conservatives

like
Sens.
Ted
Cruz,
R-Texas,
and
Rand
Paul,
R-Ky.

began
turning
to
the
platform
this
year
after
becoming
frustrated
with
content
moderation
on
the
major
platforms.

The
platform,
however,
had
also
become
popular
among
conspiracy
theorists
and
elements
of
the
far-right.

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