"Hey y'all, I've moved to Parler. Here's my handle, see ya there!" 

I remember the social media mini-phenomenon like it was yesterday. Many who were disgruntled with Facebook and other social media and what they believe to be unfair censorship and "liberal bias" were threatening to leave and go immediately to Parler.

And many East Texans did. Though, many maintained their accounts on other social media.

But then, they were removed from the Google and Apple app stores. Why? The Washington Post reported "Apple booted Parler from its app store in January, citing concerns that posts on Parler could contribute to violence after posts emerged that supported the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Google similarly removed the app from its Play Store."

But then, after a month-long hiatus, they were back. At least in an online website form. You can read more about that and the changes made here.

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But now they're back in app form, as well. Apple has restored Parler as an app option as long as they committed to a few content requirement changes.

FoxBusiness.com reports that Parler will be required to "censor content that is aimed at peoples’ inherent characteristics, immutable characteristics; race, gender, sexual orientation."

Interim Parler CEO Mark Meckler said, "Apple doesn’t think people should be able to see that kind of content."

Meckler also stressed that the Parler philosophy hasn't changed and they won't be moderating content. Hmm. How's that gonna work?

I'll be interested to see how this story develops.

And just to review: In case this is your first time hearing of ParlerWikipedia describes it as "a microblogging and social networking service launched in August 2018."

Although there is some conflict and tension over whether or not this is true, Wikipedia also reports " a significant user base of Trump supporters, conservatives, and Saudi nationalists" are the most inclined to open an account there.

The numbers show it's also previously been quite popular for those who may have found themselves banned from other social media.

Wikipedia's description aside: Many of our fellow citizens are signing up.

One of the great things about living in a free nation is the freedom of speech we enjoy--even if we disagree with them. It's an American right to speak freely. I believe that for most people, it's a place to vent and share freely.  At the same time, there are reasons to be concerned.

One trend I've noticed with some of my own connections is that they're happy they won't have to deal with as much "fact checking" on ParlerThis concerns me. Whatever one's political persuasions, isn't making sure the information being shared is factually true an important consideration? I believe it is.

I would also suggest there are good reasons for "staying in the room" with those with whom we may disagree. So, I hope those going to Parler (or an any equivalent left-leaning site) don't completely leave other social media. Otherwise, right or left-leaning folks end up "preaching to the choir." It's hard to find balance and work together when we are no longer connected.

And remember, there can be bias on all sides. We need truth. We need facts. We need balance. AND most of all, we need each other.

Sending love to all my fellow East Texans--wherever you stand politically.

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