Andrew Selepak Comments on Growing Popularity of Social Media App Parler
Andrew Selepak, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Telecommunication lecturer and coordinator of the online master’s program with a specialization in social media, was quoted in “Parler Social Media Users Double in Week After Election” published on wptv.com.
The story focuses on the social media app Parler that is now gaining popularity due to recent efforts by Twitter and Facebook to flag posts that they claim may contain misinformation.
“A lot of tweets and a lot of Facebook posts from Donald Trump and his allies and even his family have been flagged on Facebook and Twitter for containing false information and inaccurate information about voter fraud from the previous election,” Selepak said. “What we’re looking at is a lot of people who want to discuss this, and discuss it freely without posts being flagged, banned and not being able to be shared.”
According to Selepak, Parler has a fraction of users compared to Twitter and Facebook, but he noted the growth can’t be ignored.
“The number of accounts in the past week has now doubled and we’re looking at about eight million users, which is a pretty significant jump for a platform that has only been around for about two years,” he said. “Critics of the platform call it an ‘echo chamber.’”
“It’s about debate, discussion,” Selepak said. “People want to win. They want to convince the other side that they’re right, but if everybody agrees, there is not the interaction, not the debate, not the discussion, argument, and that is going to prevent it from being very popular.”
Selepak added, “If people from the left are ignoring it, believing it is just a fad or just believe it is this alt-right kind of danger zone, it’s not going to get the growth and the active users.”