Capitol (Pat)riots: A comparative study of Twitter and Parler

01/18/2021 ∙ by Hitkul, et al. ∙ 0

On 6 January 2021, a mob of right-wing conservatives stormed the USA Capitol Hill interrupting the session of congress certifying 2020 Presidential election results. Immediately after the start of the event, posts related to the riots started to trend on social media. A social media platform which stood out was a free speech endorsing social media platform Parler; it is being claimed as the platform on which the riots were planned and talked about. Our report presents a contrast between the trending content on Parler and Twitter around the time of riots. We collected data from both platforms based on the trending hashtags and draw comparisons based on what are the topics being talked about, who are the people active on the platforms and how organic is the content generated on the two platforms. While the content trending on Twitter had strong resentments towards the event and called for action against rioters and inciters, Parler content had a strong conservative narrative echoing the ideas of voter fraud similar to the attacking mob. We also find a disproportionately high manipulation of traffic on Parler when compared to Twitter.

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