Parler has said it referred violent content from its platform to the FBI more than 50 times in the weeks leading up to the January 6 MAGA mob riot at the US Capitol.
The social media platform, a firm favorite among right-wing Americans, told the House Oversight and Reform Committee in a letter Thursday it had handed over multiple posts to US authorities where users had made specific threats to the Capitol on the day Congress was meeting to certify Joe Biden‘s election win.
Parler’s cooperation with the bureau began back in November, it claimed, almost two months before the deadly siege that left five including a Capitol cop dead and sent lawmakers fleeing for their lives.
The letter, sent to New York Representative and chair of the House Oversight Committee Carolyn Maloney, comes as the platform is being investigated by the House Oversight and Reform Committee for its part in the riot.
Several rioters used the platform to organize the deadly attack and, in the days that followed, the app was thrown offline as Apple, Amazon and Google dropped it from their services.
Since then, Parler has come back online and ousted its CEO John Matze, who is now suing the platform.
However, the reports of cooperation with the FBI raises renewed questions about whether authorities had prior intel of the attack and could have done more to prevent the events that arose on January 6.
Parler has said it referred violent content from its platform to the FBI more than 50 times in the weeks leading up to the January 6 MAGA mob riot at the US Capitol. Rioters break through a police barrier that day
The platform told the House Oversight and Reform Committee in a letter Thursday it had handed over multiple posts to US authorities where users had made specific threats to the Capitol on the day Congress were meeting to certify Joe Biden’s election win
Parler said Thursday it began working with the FBI in November ‘to facilitate proactive cooperation and referrals of violent threats and incitement to law enforcement.’
‘In the days and weeks leading up to Jan. 6, Parler referred violent content from its platform to the FBI for investigation over 50 times,’ the company said in its letter.
‘Parler even alerted law enforcement to specific threats of violence being planned at the Capitol.’
In the weeks between November and the deadly insurrection, the company said it notified the bureau of dozens of posts containing violent threats and illegal activities on its platform, including several related specifically to the Capitol on January 6.
One post written on December 24 included a specific call for ‘the congregation of an armed force of 150,000’ people to ‘react to the congressional events of January 6,’ reported the Wall Street Journal.
The user spoke of ‘some guys that are planning on lighting up Antifa’ on January 6 and vowed to ‘start eliminating people’.
That month, Parler said it also handed over three screenshots from one user who threatened to kill then-Attorney General Bill Barr and other lawmakers.
On January 2, four days before the riot, Parler said it handed a series of posts from another user describing the pro-Trump rally that day as ‘a final stand’ where people would ‘take back the USA with force’ and were ‘ready to die’ for their cause.
‘It’s no longer a protest,’ the person wrote, according to Parler.
‘This is a final stand where we are drawing the red line at Capitol Hill. I trust the American people will take back the USA with force and many are ready to die to take back #USA.’
Parler’s cooperation with the bureau began back in November, it claimed, almost two months before the deadly siege that left five including a Capitol cop dead and sent lawmakers fleeing for their lives
The individual also said he planned to show up wearing body armor that day and made a specific threat to ‘take’ the Capitol building.
‘This is not a party until they announce #Trump2020 a winner. Don’t be surprised if we take the #capital [sic] building,’ they wrote.
Another example of violent content Parler said it shared with the FBI was a post from an individual boasting that people were going armed to the Capitol on January 6 and were prepared to ’cause chaos’ if lawmakers did ‘the wrong thing’.
‘They may be concealed at first but if congress does the wrong thing expect real chaos because Trump needs us to cause chaos to enact the #insurrectionact,’ the person wrote in the post.
Parler said it continued to ‘dutifully and proactively’ report violent content to the FBI following the Capitol riot.
Parler was thrown offline after the riot as Apple, Amazon and Google dropped it from their services. Since then, it has come back online and ousted its CEO John Matze (pictured), who is now suing the platform
The app grew in popularity among the far right in the wake of the presidential election as the likes of Twitter and Facebook clamped down on spreading misinformation and hate speech as Donald Trump pushed false claims that he had won the White House race.
After Trump was banished from the mainstream apps for spreading false claims, millions of users flocked to Parler.
But Parler went offline in January as it was removed from Apple and Google app stores and taken off a web-hosting platform by Amazon as the companies accused the platform of failing to crack down on extremist content and calls for violence in the lead-up to the January 6 riot.
In late January, a judge ruled against Parler’s request to force Amazon to restore the company to its web hosting services.
A month later, Parler re-launched its services online through host SkySilk as it said its new platform was built on ‘sustainable, independent technology.’
New community guidelines on Parler state that the platform is ‘viewpoint neutral’ and will not allow for promotion of crime or unlawful acts.
Since the attacks, numerous Parler users have been charged in connection to the Capitol riots, and in some cases the Department of Justice has referred to the threats suspects made on the app in charging documents.
The letter about the right-wing platform’s collaboration with US authorities leading up to the attack came the same day the bosses of Facebook, Twitter and Google were hauled before a different House panel.