parler social network

Parler data breach will reveal its role in US Capitol riots

Image credit: Dreamstime

A hacker has claimed to have scraped millions of posts, videos and photos from right-wing social network Parler to be used as potential evidence for convicting the domestic terrorists involved in the breach of the US Capitol building.

The embattled platform was forced offline this week after it emerged that it was used to plan and coordinate the attack.

A hacker and internet archivist going by the name @donk_enby scraped the social network for its data in an attempt to preserve every post related to the breach prior to its closure over the weekend.

Parler was forced offline after Amazon Web Services refused to host Parler for its role in the Capitol breach, shutting down its server provision for the platform, after which Apple and Google also removed it from their respective app stores.

Some of the content scraped by @donk_enby was data that had been deleted and included private posts.

The metadata on the videos was also retained, which includes information such as when it was made and the precise location it was taken. Most web services tend to scrub this data from media such as this during upload, but Parler apparently did not take this step.

Gizmodo has reported that the downloaded data will eventually be added to the internet archive.

While Parler has a strong focus on privacy and an anti-censorship, it also requires verified users to upload identifying documentation such as a driver’s licence or passport.

The Capitol breach has had significant repercussions in many social media circles, with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all blocking US President Donald Trump for his role in inciting the violence at the Capitol building.

Yesterday, Facebook said it was treating the next two weeks as a “major civic event” and would remove certain content containing the phrase “stop the steal” from its social media platforms.

The phrase relates to the baseless and unfounded claims from Trump supporters that Joe Biden’s win in November’s election was illegitimate.

“With continued attempts to organise events against the outcome of the US presidential election that can lead to violence, and use of the term by those involved in Wednesday’s violence in DC, we’re taking this additional step in the lead up to the inauguration”, Facebook said in a blog post.

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