Friday, June 26, 2020

The Problem With Parler: People Prefer Shitting in Clean Toilets

"All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again." - Battlestar Galactica

In case you haven't heard, Twitter has begun to police its hate, propaganda, and cray-cray. They're purging the worst, pasting warning labels on the marginal, and banning those who've rejected multiple warnings.

Naturally, the crazies and assholes are less than perfectly content with this, so a mass of loopy raging blowhards has begun to migrate to an alternative service called Parler, hollering predictably about FREE SPEECH (which, as sane people know, applies to congressional legislation, not to the actions of private media companies which have no obligation to allow every human to scream into their microphone).

Parler has positioned itself as a safe zone for raging lunatics. And, inevitably, people are realizing that a community composed of raging lunatics lacks a certain sheen.

There are smokers who reserve no-smoking hotel rooms, because smoking rooms smell bad, and then smoke in them. The same principle applies here. A certain type wants a civilized, intelligent discussion they can smear their feces around in. It's just not the same to do so in, like, a toilet.

The Bulwark has a hilarious new article up today about the alleged migration to Parler. The authors are skeptical it will actually happen, because, essentially, people prefer shitting in clean toilets.

As the founder of, a very early and popular online community, I have some experience with, oh, every part of this. Don't imagine that jerks are only jerky about politics. They can be delightfully versatile; able to switch over to tacos and crawfish with great aplomb.

Chowhound started off like Twitter, sincerely devoted to weaving together every last voice. Like Twitter, we came to realize that not all children play nicely, and that a loud microphone becomes an irresistible magnet for users more interested in screaming into a loud microphone than in using the service for its intended purpose.

Like Twitter, we were forced to moderate discussion in order to protect the quality of our operation against the encroaching kudzu, and were met with screams of "FREE SPEECH NAZI CENSORSHIP", because screaming ridiculous bullshit was always this element's go-to move.

Like Twitter, we reluctantly began kicking off the worst of them, and, like Parler, alternative operations cropped up to serve as safe havens for those cruelly persecuted by our FREE SPEECH NAZI CENSORSHIP. I wrote about this here.

The Bulwark is correct in predicting that a garbage can is a less alluring environment for wreaking havoc. And so these people will feel an irresistible draw back to Twitter; back to the spotlight. But let me explain what comes next.

Parler, having drawn off the scumbags, trolls, malcontents, and crazies, will come to be moderated with enormous brutality (the guards are naturally tougher on Rikers Island than the ones in elementary school). So new safe haven garbage cans will arise to welcome users they repel. As the cycle endlessly recurs, a fractal pattern of loudmouthed nightmare communities will fan out to host Twitter-like interaction "but with FREE SPEECH!"

Finally, once the worst of Parler (or whichever service becomes the established FREE SPEECH alternative) has been driven off, it will gradually accumulate a decent number of relatively well-behaved shitheads (plus some oblivious normals), and remain, for a time, the Avis to Twitter's Hertz, until the inherently belligerent management, prone to poking sticks at its usership, mismanages the operation into the ground.

And thus unfolds the heat death of the universe.

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