Ad-free, censorship-free social sites MeWe, Parler see surge in interest postelection

By | November 12, 2020
Close-up Photography of Smartphone Icons

Since the Nov. 3 election, people—particularly President Trump supporters—have been flocking to social media platforms Parler and MeWe, which promise ad-free or uncensored experiences.

MeWe’s promise is “Your private life is not 4Sale: No ads. No Spyware. No BS.” Parler calls itself “the world’s town square,” inviting participants to “speak freely and express yourself openly.”

Libby Hemphill, associate professor at the School of Information, studies politicians and others to learn how people use social media to organize, discuss and enact social change. In a faculty Q&A with Michigan News, she explains the new platforms, their business models and approaches to freedom of expression, at a time when claims about fake news and election fraud abound.