Steps to restrict misinformation and downright lies on Twitter (Trump's mouthpiece of choice) have left believers in baseless election theories fleeing elsewhere.
The top pick for those who don't want their crackpot theories being badged as 'unreliable' or worse, hidden, is a little known (thus far) social media site called Parler. Trump supporters are flocking to Parler over claims of ‘censorship and deplatforming’ by market leading platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
Right-wing social network Parler has surged in popularity in the US after high-profile conservative figures urged their followers to migrate to the new platform. The platform, which was launched in 2018 and encourages its users to "express yourself openly, without fear of being ‘deplatformed’ for your views", was downloaded close to 1 million times in the last couple of weeks, according to data from app tracking firm SensorTower.
Maria Bartiromo, a Fox News presenter, and Mark Levin, a lawyer and radio personality, are among the conservative commentators with large social media followings to encourage their fans to join Parler, claiming that Facebook and Twitter have censored their posts relating to the US election.
As we all know, Donald Trump and some of his prominent supporters have been attempting to make claims of fraud in the contest, but have yet to provide any evidence, leading to crackdowns. Forcing Twitter, Donald Trump's social media platform of choice - to date! - to announce new rules around the type of content that would be allowed to remain online in relation to voting misinformation and conspiracy theories, and restricting Mr Trump’s own tweets that violated its policies around sharing misinformation.
As 'president', Trump gets favoured status on social media platforms. After 20 January, if he keeps up posting misinformation, he's likely to find himself banned from mainstream sites like Facebook and Twitter. That's good news for everyone who doesn't want to read his lies and, let's face it, he's unlikely to stop spouting crap in the coming months or years, so let him and his ardent fan club do it somewhere else, like Parler.
Everyone's guessing what Trump's going to do after Biden is sworn in on 20 January. What are the odds that he'll start his own social media platform or his own TV station? Perhaps Trump News, an even further right wing station than Fox News? Or, maybe, there will be TrumpParler.com?