Content Warning: hate speech of any flavor
This is a controversial post. I know that before writing it because people have told me that it’s controversial.
“I think putting people on a list is childish and unnecessary,” one person told me. “You’re going to name names and hurt someone’s career!” another said. Of course, the old chestnuts “freedom of speech!” and “just because they have a different opinion!” came up.
They were talking about my plans to out authors who joined Parler in the days after Donald Trump’s landslide failure in the 2020 presidential election.
For those unacquainted with the dregs of the internet, Parler is a Facebook alternative that brings together the worst of QAnon, MAGA, militia aficionados, Christian Dominionists, and more white supremacists than you can shake a blue lives matter flag at. Feeling “censored” by Facebook’s policy of gently suggesting that users double-check some of the baseless, absurd, and dangerous propaganda the right cranked out on the platform by the minute.
It is here I would like to point out the irony of people so invested in free speech not understanding what the First Amendment actually says. And I would like to reiterate that Facebook didn’t remove anyone’s content or prevent them from sharing it. They simply put a little note at the bottom of articles, memes, and lengthy diatribes that stated some of the information included wasn’t the truth when it was, in fact, not the truth. It wasn’t freedom of speech that these people had an issue with. It was the fact that they weren’t being allowed to spread hate, disinformation, wild conspiracy theories, and absurdly transparent calls to violent insurrection or the assassination of political figures as irrefutable truth that made them take their toys and run off to their hate circle.
Again: these are people so invested in destroying any non-white, non-straight, non-Protestant person in the country that they feel any attempt to correct or question their deliberate lies and destructive conspiracy theories was an attack on their personal liberty. By not tacitly accepting that what they are fighting for–genocide, eugenics, torture, tyranny, religious persecution, martial law, the list goes on and sinks lower–is righteous and unimpeachable, the word is ripping away their freedom.
They do not consider themselves free if they are not allowed to harm anyone who doesn’t look, act, and believe exactly as they do.
They do not consider themselves free if they are not allowed to kill, see killing, threaten to kill, or celebrate killing.
But these are the people that I, a queer, disabled person, should treat with the grace of anonymity. The people I should work alongside, potentially meet at industry functions. The people who should be celebrated by readers, who should have an easy path to success because…
Why should we not name the names of people who will happily show up to a book convention and sit beside a marginalized author, smile sweetly, take pictures, then immerse themself in the comforting embrace of free speech like:
- “For everything that is wrong with this world there is a j** behind it.”
- “I love laying in bed and rubbing my wet pussy to officers killing n***** men.”
- “N***** lives don’t matter.”
- “AIDS kills f*** dead.”
- “THIS ISN’T OVER YET – NEVER BET AGAINST PRESIDENT TRUMP! WE ARE MANY – WE ARE MIGHTY WE ARE ARMED – WE ARE UNITED WE ARE TRUMP PATRIOTS – AND WE ARE PISSED! #SayYourPrayersDemocrats #MayGodHaveMercyOnYourSoulBecauseWeWont”
- “Let’s see them try to enter the people house and attempt to remove our President, a National Treasure!!! Death will become them!”
- “This woman is Evil Incarnate. We Cannot Allow This Satanic Shill To Enter Office. (Kamala Harris’ eyes turn completely black several times during this interview, she is full of unclean spirits ECHO THIS PLEASE)”
- “Voting will not remove them. The only things n****** understand are pain and fear”
- “IN WAR, IT’S KILL OR BE KILLED. WE NEED 50 MILLION ARMED AMERICAN PATRIOTS TO STORM DC AND KILL ALL THE SWAMP CRIMINALS NOW!!!!!!!!!!”
What was that, people who were horrified at the idea of naming names? Oh, you thought Parler was just the garden variety dog whistles you’re comfortable ignoring?
And this is the stuff in public posts made by users of the site. One can only imagine what kind of horror show goes on behind the locked accounts.
Marginalized people should not, will not, and cannot take a stance of non-involvement and polite tolerance toward people whose sole motivation is our total eradication. Asking us to do so is actively protecting the goals of these people. If your first thought upon seeing this list is, “That’s not nice,” then congratulations: you’re complicit.
But I know the perfect social media site for you to join.
Criteria for inclusion:
Because authors make their money off the internet and building a reader following, when a new platform pops up, we generally see them flock there. You never know when the next mega-platform will pop up, and being an early adopter comes with an initial lack of competition for views. Plus, other platforms have a habit of applying advertising and content rules haphazardly, often punishing authors for sharing excerpts or covers that are too racy. It made sense for many erotic romance authors to try out Parler two years ago; for them to still be there, they must have a damn good reason.
For an author’s name to be included on this list, their Parler account must include one or more of the following:
- Posts or “echoes” of hate speech
- Posts or “echoes” of election disinformation
- A “following” list featuring at least two right-wing provocateurs, i.e., accounts following Donald Trump, InfoWars, or any QAnon accounts are automatically included regardless of original content posted by the user
- A post-election “joined” date
- A locked account
- An announcement on other platforms directing readers to the author’s Parler account for reasons described in the introduction to this post
What are some reasons an author might have a Parler account and not be included in the list?
- The account is an early adopt that hasn’t been updated frequently
- The account doesn’t follow anyone
- There are no posts/”echoes”
- The author’s body of work is self-explanatory
The authors in question must also be published (either indie or traditional) or in the process of querying; we’re not gonna wait for these people to get book deals.
I came up with these criteria based on things I saw on the site itself, as well as from defenses used by authors and readers. Here are some examples:
- Jamie Mcguire has a locked account with a verified badge. One of her readers argued that because Facebook removes ad content it deems inappropriate, McGuire was forced to switch platforms in order to advertise her books and publicize herself. This would be more believable if the account wasn’t behind a lock on a website that doesn’t allow access to anyone who doesn’t have a user account. Because that rationale makes absolutely no sense at all, she is on the list.
- Jim Butcher has a Parler account. It is not verified. He joined in August of 2020. He follows no one. The only post on his account is the default post the site makes to get you started. He is not on the list.
- Laura Loomer has a book coming out in 2021. She doesn’t need to be on the list because she calls herself a “proud Islamaphobe” and has built her entire brand on her profound hatred. Including her would be redundant. Yes, she’s a bigot and an author; no, she is not on the list.
- A handful of authors on Parler really do seem to be there just to talk about writing and promote their books. They don’t follow any red-flag accounts, they don’t post weird stuff about killing their fellow citizens in an orgy of patriotism and finally getting to use all those bullets they’ve invested in. They’re just there. Maybe they’re there for nefarious purposes, but there’s no way to prove it. They’re not on the list.
- Some authors expressed dismay at the fact that they’d joined the site in its early days and didn’t realize what it was for. Usually, their accounts were barely used or completely scrubbed of posts. If I can’t prove a person is there with malicious intent, they’re not on the list.
After nearly a month of combing hashtags and search terms, these are the names on the list. They are not in alphabetical order because for some reason, after reading about how I should die, how my friends should die, how half the country should be murdered, etc.? It just seemed like the straw of work that would break my back.
Please also note: it’s become something of a trend to use initials or close spellings to game search engine and retailer algorithms. Please be absolutely certain that you’ve done your own due diligence. This isn’t a list of hot gossip; this is a list of people who pose a danger to their fellow authors.
Click read more for the list.