The storming of the US Capitol on January 6th sparked a national debate over unmoderated social networks like Parler, which was blamed for providing a platform for calls to insurrection and violence. After major technology providers ended their business relationship with Parler, Internet activists managed to scrape nearly every post, comment, and user before it was shut down on January 10th.
This project is designed to give the general public a nonpartisan insight into the actual discourse that took place on Parler, rather than rely on a media characterization. Any researcher or journalist can download the entire dataset and form their own analysis or independently substantiate any claims.
This dataset is being preserved for its tremendous research value and historical significance. By contributing to server and bandwidth costs, you help keep this ad-free searchable interface available to the public for as long as possible.
I use personal funds to run this free service that indexes around 100 GB of text and over 1 TB of photos/videos. By supporting project costs, you help me pay for servers, storage, and bandwidth, so this resource can be made available to everyone for as long as possible.
I wrote about Parler after it was shut down, using the data I had collected to make preliminary observations. I was overwhelmed by the amount of attention I received, and saw firsthand how the lack of data led to a skewed media narrative on both sides over what had transpired. I also realized that hashtags do not provide a clear picture on the sentiments being expressed on Parler, and that full-text analysis would be necessary for any substantiated conclusion. This searchable dataset is the first step toward research in that direction.
The weekend before AWS took Parler offline, an Internet activist noticed a way to legally scrape most of Parler's data, which was carried out by a worldwide group of volunteers. Thanks to the collective effort of archivists who saved this information, we can now get a clear retrospective picture on the discourse that was actually taking place.