The News Today
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1.17.21
White Hat

The Pro-Trump Twitter Alternative Parler Has Gone Offline

__Dan Robitzski__Filed Under: Future Society
Futurism

Masks Off

Parler, the Twitter-like social platform popular among the far-right, was taken offline early Monday morning.

It’s the latest in a multiple-day deplatforming campaign that saw President Donald Trump as well as accounts boosting QAnon conspiracy theories banned from online platforms. But before the site shut down, Vice News reports that a hacker who goes by the moniker “Crash Override” seems to have scraped user data, posts, and media from last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol — potentially archiving information that could expose many of the rioters.

Pull The Plug

Parler was a digital haven for the far-right, especially compared to more mainstream — and more heavily-moderated — platforms like Twitter. But Google, Apple, and Amazon Web Services all dropped their support for the Parler app, driving it offline on Sunday night.

But the user data lives on. It turns out that Parler had shockingly weak data protection in place, and Crash Override claims they were able to quickly scrape the platform, including deleted posts.

Deanonymizing Data

For right-wingers who’d hoped to remain anonymous and avoid accountability for raiding the U.S. Capitol, the scraping is bad news. Within the data, which Vice News reports is still being processed, could be enough to identify and locate individual Parler users who either raided the Capitol or posted threatening messages against public officials.

“The intent is a mass dox and a list to hold patriots ‘accountable,'” a Telegram account called “North Central Florida Patriots” said, according to Vice News. “It is too late to scrub your data, and it’s already archived. There is nothing you can do to prevent what’s already happened. All you can do is prepare for the fallout.”

READ MORE: Parler Is Gone, But Hackers Say They Downloaded Everything First [Vice News]

More on Parler: Twitter Permanently Suspends Donald Trump’s Account