Parler, a preferred social-media platform for the far-right, is back online with Mark Meckler as interim CEO

Parler is back online.

  • Parler has relaunched with a Tea Party Patriots co-founder at the top.
  • The social-media platform was taken offline by Amazon Web Services in January. 
  • The site, a favorite for the far-right, was found to be a planning hub for Capitol insurrectionists.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Parler, the preferred social media platform for the far-right, announced Monday that it was back online after it was dropped by an Amazon hosting service on January 11. 

The site became a haven for pro-Trump extremists ahead of, and during, the Capitol insurrection. Amazon Web Services (AWS) found that it “poses a very real risk to public safety.”

On Monday, the company announced that site was up and running with a Tea Party co-founder serving as interim CEO. Mark Meckler, an attorney, political activist, and founder of the Tea Party Patriots, replaced former CEO and co-founder John Matze, who was fired by the company’s board earlier this month. 

Read more: How Silicon Valley banished Donald Trump in 48 hours

In a statement Monday, Meckler said, “Parler was built to offer a social media platform that protects free speech and values privacy and civil discourse,” highlighting the platform’s focus on freedom of speech. “Parler is being run by an experienced team and is here to stay. We will thrive as the premier social media platform dedicated to free speech, privacy and civil dialogue,” the statement said. 

According to publicly available WHOIS data, the domain is registered with Epik, which also hosts Gab, another far-right social-media platform. 

A spokesperson did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

Parler is largely funded by Rebekah Mercer, a conservative megadonor whose family was among the most influential backers of then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016. Dan Bongino, a conservative activist, has also said he’s a co-owner.

The company came under scrutiny after the Capitol insurrection as evidence emerged that the rioters had used Parler and other platforms to coordinate the attack.

Apple and Google removed Parler from their app stores shortly after the insurrection, saying it had continued to allow content that threatened to escalate violence in violation of their policies. Amazon then removed Parler’s access to its web-hosting services, and other tech companies refused to do business with it, effectively taking the platform offline.

Parler will immediately bring back its current users during the first week of the relaunch and intends to allow new users to sign up the following week, the statement said. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

5 Free Social Media Management Tools to Make Your Life Easier

5 Free Social Media Management Tools to Make Your Life Easier written by Guest Post read more at Duct Tape Marketing

This post is brought to you by ContentCal

5 Free Social Media Management Tools to Make Your Life Easier - Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit: Social Media via photopin (license)

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May 2016 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Taking care of your social media presence is just as crucial as creating brilliant content for your audience. Not only do you share valuable information with them, but you can also engage with them, receive valuable feedback and ideas for topics, connect with other people in your industry, and reach out to influencers, among other things.

However, since there are so many popular social networks you need to be a part of – plus new ones are continually being added to the mix – it’s nearly impossible to manage all of those accounts manually. Fortunately, there are plenty of social media management and scheduling tools you can use to make your job and your life much easier. Let’s take a look at the 5 most effective.

1. Later

Instagram is one of the most popular social networks, with over 1 billion users active on the platform each month. Later started as an app dedicated to Instagram as a scheduling tool, but since its inception, they’ve added support for other social networks and are continuously adding new features. The app has a strong focus on visual content. Whether you want to schedule in-feed image or video posts, stories, or carousel posts — Later supports all of these options. Later has a free plan available that you can use forever, but you get features such as analytics, saved captions, scheduled stories, and more for paid plans. Their paid plans start at $9/month.

A screenshot of the later dashboard

2. TweetDeck

Those who rely on Twitter to get their message across will find much to like about TweetDeck. TweetDeck is a free application that enables you to manage multiple (unlimited) Twitter accounts from a unified interface. You can create your own customizable social media dashboard that allows you to send and receive tweets and manage and monitor your Twitter profiles. You can use TweetDeck as a web app, Chrome app, or desktop app. TweetDeck can be set to post scheduled tweets, build Tweet lists, and more. And the extra special part is that it’s always free.

A screenshot of the TweetDeck dashboard

3. Canva

Social media is increasingly becoming more and more visual. Canva is an excellent tool for anyone managing social media accounts to use. You can create designer-level marketing assets using any of the thousands of ready-made designs they have available to you. Now, you can even connect your social channels and publish or schedule directly from Canva. They have a free version available, which gives you decent access to great pre-made templates. The pro plan gives you access to all of the templates for only $12.95/month.

A screenshot of the canva dashboard

4. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the most established and popular apps for social media scheduling and marketing. You can use it to schedule posts, receive in-depth reports, and collaborate with your team members, thanks to built-in teamwork features. It enables you to view multiple streams at once and monitor what your customers are saying. There is a free limited plan available for 3 social profiles and up to 30 scheduled messages.

a screenshot of the hootsuite dashboard

5. Buffer

Buffer is also one of the best apps for managing your social media presence and scheduling your posts. The app also comes with analytics tools that enable you to track your audience’s activity and figure out when it is the best time to post in the future. We especially love its Chrome extension, which integrates itself seamlessly and never gets in the way, yet it is always there when you need it. It is a more straightforward and more effective way of managing your social media, and you are never more than a few clicks away from setting up anything you want. Buffer supports over 7 different platforms – you can add up to 4 on the free plan.


a screenshot of the Buffer dashboard

Bonus Tool: ContentCal

ContentCal is the ultimate tool for bringing your team together. You can share ideas with, create approval workflows, build your content plan and then publish that content to multiple platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google My Business, YouTube, and Medium). ContentCal’s analytics will help you understand your content performance and the latest ‘Respond’ features act as a shared inbox for monitoring and responding to mentions, messages, and comments across social media.

One of the star features is the fact that ContentCal integrates with over 2000 other applications so that you can create the perfect social media workflow by connecting ContentCal to tools you currently use (think of things like Slack or Trello) and also distribute content to channels beyond social media, like emails and blog posts. The best content is created together. Involve your team (and clients) into the content creation process, share ideas, gain feedback and watch your content performance soar!

a screenshot of the contentcal dashboard

While managing your social media presence and getting your content to reach a wider audience is a challenging task, there are some things you can do to make it easier on yourself. That includes relying on apps to help you handle the jobs which don’t require you to use your creative capacities, and that includes scheduling. We hope you will find these apps helpful. Good luck!

Kenneth Waldman

Kenneth Waldman is a Professional Writer and also a Blog Editor at Essay Writing Service. The areas of his interest include the latest education trends and technologies, digital marketing, social media. You can get in touch with him on Twitter

The only ways to get invited to the buzzy conversation app Clubhouse at the moment – explained

he invitation-only audio-chat social networking app clubhouse is pictured on a smartphone on January 26, 2021 in Berlin, Germany.
The invitation-only audio-chat social networking app clubhouse is pictured on a smartphone on January 26, 2021 in Berlin, Germany.

Invite-only audio chat app Clubhouse has made headlines recently, from hosting conversations with Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg to inspiring a “black market” for invites

The app bills itself as a “space for casual, drop-in audio conversations” with friends and founders alike. 

And the question on many people’s minds is simple: how do I get in? Here’s your step-by-step guide to signing up for Clubhouse. 

How to get an invite

The easiest – and quickest – way to access the platform is to get invited by a friend who already has a Clubhouse account. 

Initial Clubhouse users receive 2 invites. As long as your friend has your phone number, they can send you an invite to download the app with that phone number. And voila, you’re a Clubhouse member.

Read more: 4 entrepreneurs on Clubhouse explain how they’re using the booming social media platform to grow their business

There’s also the option to go through the wait list, a slower process but one that anyone can do – not just people with friends or connections who are already on the app. Once users move to the front of the wait list line, they are eligible for invites as well.  

Clubhouse wrote in its description on the Apple App Store: “anyone can get [an invite] by joining the waitlist, or by asking an existing user for one.”

Though the only legitimate ways to get in to Clubhouse are through an invite or the waitlist, some would-be users are taking matters into their own hands and selling invites.

Earlier in February, Insider reported, a black market of invites for sale on sites like Twitter and Craigslist cropped up when Elon Musk tweeted that he would be speaking on the app. Insider reported that some Chinese citizens were paying up to 65 euros for an invitation to Clubhouse. Clubhouse did not immediately respond to a request for clarification as to whether buying or selling invites violates its terms of service, so it’s not recommended to purchase an invite until the company explains whether those sold accounts are at risk of being terminated.

However, users likely won’t need invites forever: Insider reported in February that Clubhouse hopes to move to an open-access model as soon as possible. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

What is Clubhouse? Everything to know about the booming invite-only voice chatting app

he invitation-only audio-chat social networking app clubhouse is pictured on a smartphone on January 26, 2021 in Berlin, Germany.
Though Clubhouse is currently invite-only, the company has plans to expand to the general public.

  • Clubhouse is an iPhone app that allows people to host and join audio conversations with other users.
  • Clubhouse is currently invite-only, but CEO Paul Davison says the app will eventually open up for anyone to join.
  • Despite its exclusivity, the app already has millions of users, many of them major players in Silicon Valley and the entertainment industry.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Founded in 2020, Clubhouse has quickly built a reputation as the next great place for people to meet, talk, and share ideas.

In short, Clubhouse lets you create and join “rooms,” where you can then chat with others in a big conference call. There are no pictures, videos, or really even text – just audio. Users can join and leave the call at any time, turning any room into a public meeting hall.

Here’s everything to know about Clubhouse, the app that’s quickly taking social media circles by storm.

What to know about the Clubhouse app

How to join

The first thing to know about Clubhouse is how to join. And unfortunately, the answer to that question is “You probably can’t.”

Clubhouse is invite-only, meaning that anyone who wants to join has to be brought in by someone who already has an account. You can still download the app and put your name on a waiting list, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever get an account that way.

what is clubhouse.PNG
If you download the app without an invite, you’ll see this screen.

Additonally, Clubhouse is currently only available for iPhone users.


Clubhouse’s CEO Paul Davidson has said that the app will eventually open up to everyone, including Android users. But they’re starting slow – anyone who manages to receive an invite is only be given two invites of their own, which they can then gift to others.

How Clubhouse works

Clubhouse creates a place where people can meet up to host, listen to, and in some cases, join conversations within the app’s community.

When you open the app, you’ll be presented with a list of rooms, as well as a list showing who’s in each room. You can join the room by tapping on it, or start your room.

So far, most Clubhouse rooms have a TED Talk vibe, with one guest speaking and everyone else listening. Other users can join the conversation when deemed appropriate by a moderator, but depending on the chat, this can be rare.

There are always dozens of conversations happening at the same time, allowing users to jump between subjects and speakers based on their interest. 

clubhouse app
The Clubhouse app functions kind of like an audio-only Zoom room.



Clubhouse rooms are hosted by experts, luminaries, celebrities, venture capitalists, journalists, and more. During his foray into Clubhouse, Insider contributor Adam Lashinsky described jumping from a conversation about the GameStop short sale, to marketing specialist Guy Kawasaki discussing the art of persuasion, to actress Ricki Lake promoting her documentary.

Tech moguls Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have both spoken on Clubhouse calls in the past few weeks, which has only intensified the buzz around it. Insider reporter Margaux MacColl even noted that Elon Musk’s appearance sparked a “black market” for Clubhouse invites, as aspiring users grow desperate to join the exclusive community.

What comes next for Clubhouse

Clubhouse built its reputation with conversations hosted by big names like Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk. The app is already considered a staple among Silicon Valley and entertainment personalities. It’s even earned a valuation of over $1 billion, despite being founded less than a year ago.

Clubhouse has plans to expand futher, and eventually take their place among other major social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. But to do this, they’re also going to have to face some of the controversies surrounding the platform.

Some journalists on Clubhouse – especially women – have talked about being targets of bullying and harassment from others on the platform. Others have witnessed rooms descend into anti-semitism, racism, and COVID-19 denialism.

Clubhouse has already hired moderators, and CEO Davidson has said that “Any social network needs to make moderation a top priority.” However, he’s also stressed that he wants the platform to center free speech and dialogue.

clubhouse rohan seth paul davison
Clubhouse co-founders Rohan Seth and Paul Davison.

While Clubhouse has already built a strong reputation, it’s eyeing the future. There are plans to allow users to make money through the app from subscriptions, holding events, and receiving tips. And as more people are invited, buzz is sure to grow.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

Read the original article on Business Insider

Facebook expanded its rules on posting misinformation and will remove all false claims about COVID vaccines, including that they cause autism

Coronavirus vaccine
A pharmacist prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Jessica Hill/AP Photo

  • Facebook added false vaccine claims to its updated protocols for combatting COVID-19 misinformation.
  • Posts claiming vaccines are ineffective or unsafe will be removed, the social network said. 
  • Facebook also said it is working with WHO to remove misinformation about all vaccines. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Facebook said it will remove misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines from the platform and from Instagram in order to continue combatting false claims about the pandemic

On Monday, Facebook updated the list of misinformation it would remove from its social sites to include several false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines, including that they’re “toxic, dangerous or cause autism.” Since February 2020, the social media giant has been removing false claims about the virus. 

Posts will be removed if they include claims that the COVID-19 vaccines will kill or seriously harm people, will cause autism or infertility, will change people’s DNA, or will cause irrational side effects like turning a person into a monkey. Other false claims will also be removed, like those that say contracting the disease is safer than getting the vaccine and that receiving the shot is unsafe for certain groups of people. Facebook will take down false statements about how COVID-19 vaccines were made or their efficacy

Facebook also will remove misinformation about all vaccines, like that they cause infant death or can be poisonous. The company said it consulted the World Health Organization and other leading health groups to determine the list of false claims. 

Read more: What it’s like when one of your oldest friends becomes a conspiracy theorist

Facebook has updated its misinformation guidelines regarding COVID-19 several times since the start of the pandemic last year. At first, the social network reduced visibility of false claims about the virus by limiting distribution and adding warning labels with more context. In April alone, the company put warning labels on 50 million pieces of content.

It has since begun removing false claims entirely. The company said it has taken down “more than 12 million pieces of content on Facebook and Instagram containing misinformation that could lead to imminent physical harm.”

The company is also giving $120 million in advertising credits to health groups working to reach billions of people with information regarding COVID-19 and the vaccines. It will also help users determine where and when they can receive their vaccine, similar to its tool in helping people determine when and where they can vote.

“In 2021 we’re focused on supporting health leaders and public officials in their work to vaccinate billions of people against COVID-19,” Facebook said in its statement. 

In the past year, the social media platform has responded to calls to address the growing spread of misinformation. In October, it banned pages and groups associated with the conspiracy theory QAnon, and then in January, it placed an indefinite ban on former President Donald Trump, who stoked claims about a stolen presidential election, which eventually led to the deadly Capitol riots on January 6. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ex-Parler CEO said he didn’t want the platform to work with Trump for fear the president would ‘bully’ employees into doing what he wanted

Matze Trump Parler
Parler CEO John Matze and President Donald Trump, who Matze has said considered making an account on the controversial social-media platform.

  • John Matze, the former CEO of Parler, told Axios on HBO that he did not want to work with Trump.
  • He said we was concerned Trump would “bully” employees into doing what he wanted.
  • BuzzFeed reported Parler offered Trump a 40% stake in exchange for becoming his go-to social media.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

John Matze, the former CEO of Parler, said during an interview with Axios on HBO that he didn’t want the social media platform to work with Donald Trump.

“I didn’t like the idea of working with Trump because he might have bullied people inside the company to do what he wanted,” Matze told Axios during an interview that aired Sunday.

“But I was worried that if we didn’t sign the deal, he might have been vengeful and told his followers to leave Parler,” Matze added.

Parler, which has very limited content moderation, grew in popularity among Trump supporters and far-right figures following the election in November. However, Trump, who frequently complained about Twitter adding fact-check labels to his tweets, never made a verified Parler account.

Read more: How Google finally decided to remove Parler after months of flagging the app’s harmful content

Matze also told Axios he does not know why Trump has not joined the platform, despite being booted off other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook for violating their terms.

The interview, which took place Thursday, was released following a BuzzFeed News report on Friday that said Parler offered the Trump Organization 40% stake in exchange for Trump making the app his go-to social media platform.

The proposed deal, which was reportedly in talks last summer and after Trump lost the election, also would have required Trump to post on Parler four hours before reposting the content on other platforms, while also linking back to Parler, according to BuzzFeed.

Matze did not mention the specifics of the BuzzFeed report in the interview with Axios but said the negotiations over the summer did not get very far.

Trump’s business interests during his presidency raised questions over whether he was abusing the office of the presidency for personal financial gain.

BuzzFeed reported that the Parler deal could have violated anti-bribery laws because Parler would have given Trump something of value in exchange for control over his official statements, according to ethics experts.

Parler’s board fired Matze from his role as CEO last week, as the app currently remains offline. Following the insurrection at the US Capitol last month, Apple and Google removed the app from their app stores, and Amazon also stopped hosting the app, citing insufficient moderation of violent content.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Gab’s CEO says Trump doesn’t use the platform, after reports wrongly suggest he returned to social media

Donald Trump on phone
President Donald Trump.

  • Gab CEO Andrew Torba said Saturday that former President Donald Trump doesn’t use the platform.
  • A number of media outlets, including Insider, incorrectly reported Trump had joined Gab.
  • Since being banned from social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, Trump has been quiet online.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that Donald Trump had posted to the social media platform Gab. Gab CEO Andrew Torba has since said the account in question is not run by Trump. We’ve updated the story to reflect this.

Gab CEO Andrew Torba said Donald Trump does not use the platform, after false reports suggested otherwise.

Multiple media outlets, including Insider, incorrectly reported that the former president broke his social media silence Friday with a post on Gab. But Torba says the account in question is not, and has never been, used by Trump.

“@realdonaldtrump is and always has been a mirror archive of POTUS’ tweets and statements that we’ve run for years. We’ve always been transparent about this and would obviously let people know if the President starts using it,” Torba said in a post on Gab.

Torba also criticised the media outlets that falsely reported that Trump himself was posting to the account, which features a blue check mark similar to those used on verified Twitter accounts.

The Gab post that was mistaken for a post from Trump himself featured a letter, which is genuine, sent by Trump’s lawyers to Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin. Raskin recently called on the former president to testify at his second impeachment hearing next week.

The letter, signed by Trump attorneys David Schoen and Bruce Castor Jr., read: “We are in receipt of your latest public relations stunt. Your letter only confirms what is known to everyone: you cannot prove your allegations against the 45th President of the United States, who is now a private citizen.”

The letter continued: “The use of our Constitution to bring a purported impeachment proceeding is much too serious to try to play these games.”

Read more: How Google finally decided to remove Parler after months of flagging the app’s harmful content

Trump is in the midst of a second impeachment over his role in stirring up a mob of supporters that stormed the US Capitol on January 6.

The former president was permanently suspended from Twitter in the wake of the insurrection, which resulted in five people’s deaths. He was also blocked on YouTube.

Recent reports have said the ex-president is still so frustrated by being barred from Twitter that he is writing down insults and trying to get aides to post them from their own accounts.

Gab is a social networking website that is popular among far-right supporters. It rose to infamy following the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh when it was discovered the shooter had posted anti-Semitic comments on the platform.

It was launched by Torba, a self-described “Christian technology entrepreneur,” following what he says was the rise of big tech censorship during the 2016 election, according to the company’s website.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Mark Zuckerberg made a surprise appearance on the world’s buzziest social network to talk about the future

facebook ceo mark zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared on a Clubhouse talk show on Thursday evening.
  • Zuckerberg appeared on The Good Times Show, a talk show on the buzzy new social networking app.
  • The show has attracted tech moguls including Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The man in charge of the world’s biggest social network just joined the world’s buzziest new social network.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg created a username – “Zuck23” – and signed on to the new voice-chat-based. invite-only social app Clubhouse on Thursday night for an interview.

Like Tesla CEO Elon Musk before him, Zuckerberg jumped on Clubhouse to participate in “The Good Time Show,” a talk show based on Clubhouse.

Zuckerberg was on the show to discuss futuristic technology from Facebook’s Reality Labs group, which specializes in augmented reality, virtual reality, and other platforms believed to be the future of human-computer interaction.

To that end, Zuckerberg discussed the promise of AR/VR as it applies to remote work. In the next 5 to 10 years, according to Zuckerberg, half of Facebook’s staff could be working remotely on a permanent basis – regardless of global pandemics.

“We should be teleporting, not transporting, ourselves,” Zuckerberg said, according to a transcription from venture capitalist John Constine

Perhaps more notable than what Zuckerberg said on Clubhouse was his presence on the buzzy new social networking app – Facebook is notorious for replicating key features of its rivals through Facebook and Facebook’s subsidiaries. Instagram Stories, for instance, is largely a re-creation of a similar function on Snapchat. 

Aside from positive buzz, Clubhouse has been repeatedly criticized for its moderation issues that overwhelmingly impact Black people and people of color, Grit Daily reported. “On Clubhouse,” the report said, “there are no screenshots. There is no way to drag up old Clubhouse posts years later like a user might do on Twitter. There is no way to record conversations – meaning there is no way to prove that someone said anything controversial at all. There’s no path to accountability.”

Clubhouse’s key functionality is voice-based communication: Users essentially join instanced group voice chat rooms, which other social networks don’t offer. The app is currently invite-only, but it’s expected to open up to everyone in the near future.

Got a tip? Contact Business Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (, or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Parler CEO John Matze says he’s been fired by the company’s Rebekah Mercer-controlled board

Parler CEO John Matze
Parler CEO John Matze.

  • Parler CEO John Matze said he was fired by the company’s board, Fox Business reported Wednesday.
  • The app was recently taken offline after Amazon, Google, and Apple booted it from their platforms.
  • It came under scrutiny in the wake of the Capitol riot for allowing violent speech.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Parler CEO John Matze told employees the company’s board of directors fired him last week, Fox Business reported on Wednesday.

“On January 29, 2021, the Parler board controlled by Rebekah Mercer decided to immediately terminate my position as CEO of Parler. I did not participate in this decision,” Matze told employees in a memo, according to Fox, adding: “I understand that those who now control the company have made some communications to employees and other third parties that have unfortunately created confusion and prompted me to make this public statement.”

Parler, a social-media app popular among the far-right, is funded by Rebekah Mercer, a conservative megadonor whose family was among the most influential backers of then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016.

The company came under scrutiny after the Capitol insurrection as evidence emerged that the rioters had used Parler and other platforms to coordinate the attack.

Under public pressure, Apple and Google removed Parler from their app stores, saying it had continued to allow content that threatened to escalate violence in violation of their policies. Shortly afterward, Amazon removed Parler’s access to its web-hosting services, and other tech companies refused to do business with it, effectively taking the platform offline.

Read more: Inside the rapid and mysterious rise of Parler, the ‘free speech’ Twitter alternative, which created a platform for conservatives by burning the Silicon Valley script

Matze entered the media spotlight amid the industry’s response, repeatedly defending the company’s lax approach to content moderation and saying it would be back online by the end of January.

It has since sought to return using fringe service providers such as a Russian tech company with links to racist, far-right, and conspiracy-theory sites.

Far-right and conservative users flocked to Parler in the past few months in protest of other social-media apps that began cracking down harder on election misinformation, hate speech, and attempts to incite violence. The app was downloaded millions of times in the days after the November election, jumping to the top spot in the App Store.

Read the original article on Business Insider