What is Parler and why are conservatives flocking to it?

As Twitter and Facebook continue to crack down on misinformation surrounding the 2020 elections, another social media app has skyrocketed in popularity: Parler.

"Parler is a free speech and privacy focused social media and our main goal is to solve problems of a lack of transparency both online and just in general right now," Parler CEO John Matze told FOX 5 NY's Dana Arschin. "And people want access to more information."

Parler app has been near or at the top of the Apple App Store and Google Play's download charts this week in the wake of Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election. That appears tied to the company's intentional philosophy of not moderating content posted by its users as closely as Facebook, YouTube or Twitter do.

For example, Facebook recently quickly shut down a Facebook group called "Stop the Steal," which had ballooned to more than 350,000 members in just one day, after some members advocated for violence because of the false belief that Biden won the election due to widespread voter fraud. (Election officials around the country say the election unfolded smoothly without any widespread irregularities.)

Matze defends the app's decision to leave up false information, such as a post claiming that Donald Trump won Pennsylvania. (Trump did not win the state; Biden leads in Pennsylvania by more than 53,000 votes as of Thursday afternoon.)

He said people should be allowed to speak freely and that Parler members can make their own judgment calls about what they read on the app. Members can also flag comments they believe to be inappropriate or offensive. 

On its website, Parler lists its values ("transparency," "religious freedom," and others), which includes the statement: "Interact and communicate freely and openly with real human beings." The values page also proclaims that "content curation exacerbates hate."

"Biased content curation policies enable rage mobs and bullies to influence Community Guidelines," the company states. "Parler's viewpoint-neutral policies foster a community of individuals who tolerate the expression of all non-violent ideas."

Rev Ciancio, a digital marketing expert, told FOX 5 NY that Parler's growth isn't surprising.

"My warning to people whether it's Parler or your town square or a newspaper that you read, if you are only exposed to one type of conversation or one type of thought, you don't get the whole story and that's not being educated," he said. "And more important than free-speech is being educated."

With The Associated Press

Get breaking news alerts in the FOX5NY News app. Download for FREE!