Volokh Conspiracy Now Readable on Parler

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

I'm pleased to report that Parler users can now follow our blog at @VolokhC, https://parler.com/profile/VolokhC/posts (just as you can on Twitter, also at @VolokhC). If you are on Parler, please subscribe, and encourage your friends to do the same!

We of course don't know how successful Parler will ultimately prove, but we're happy to reach more readers wherever we can find them. Parler has been mostly promoted as friendly to conservatives and libertarians, but if there's a similar liberal-focused platform, we'd of course be glad to have our blog be readable there, too.

From what we hear, many Parler users tend to be more conservative than we are on average. But if we only spoke to people who entirely agreed with us, that wouldn't be much fun (and we wouldn't have many readers). We hope to inform and persuade people from all over the political spectrum.

And on some topics, I think we can be especially useful to conservative readers, precisely because we tend to be more or less on their side of the aisle, even if not as far to the right of the aisle as some. (I use "we" cautiously here; some of us Volokh Conspiracy bloggers are hard-core libertarian, some are moderate, some are more conservative—I myself am probably a libertarianish moderate conservative.) That might make some such readers more open to our perspectives, and especially to our expertise, than they would be to someone they see as on the opposite side politically.

Thus, just to give one recent example, I hope my post about Kamala Harris being a natural-born citizen may come across as more persuasive to conservatives than a post from someone whom they see as being a Harris supporter in the first place. (Of course, the same would be true for posts from liberals coming across as more persuasive to other liberals; it's just human nature.) One strength of our blog, I think, is that we have specialized expertise and not just opinions. But if new readers' sharing some of our opinions could lead them to be open to our expertise, we'd be delighted.

In any event, "It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment." Please keep us posted on how it goes, and on anything we can do to make it work better for you.

Oh, and we're having an odd technical glitch with the pulling of our RSS feed that is keeping our names from being included in the Parler post titles, even though they are right there in the <title> field. If any of you are familiar with such technical matters and can give us some advice about how to fix it, please e-mail me at volokh at law.ucla.edu.

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  1. The design of Parler is just baffling.

    It markets itself toward people suspicious of top down control and authoritarianism yet it requires you to link your account to your real world identity which twitter doesn’t.

    It also is even more closed off from outside viewing than Twitter where you can still at least see tweets without signing up. If thats possible in Parler I haven’t seen how to do it.

    I have no idea why its being pushed so hard. Its like something ANTIFA would program as a containment app for Trump supporters.

    1. And then there’s their user agreement that requires you to pay their legal expenses should they incur any as a result of something you post.

      “You agree to defend and indemnify Parler, as well as any of its officers, directors, employees, and agents, from and against any and all claims, actions, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs or debt, and expenses (including but not limited to all attorneys fees) arising from or relating to your access to and use of the Services,”

      So, if I post something that says “Eugene Volokh is not really a law professor”, and their management decides to ask their $500/hr lawyers to determine if this is legal or not, I’d be on the hook for their billable hours.

      But good luck with that.

      1. That’s why I didn’t join — they can go after your credit rating to collect.

      2. That actually makes me feel better about them, funnily enough. If they aren’t on the hook for their own legal fees, they are much more likely to fight it out instead of settling and caving to any demands for censorship.

        1. The only way that would make me feel better about them is if I were wealthy. I can’t afford to write them a blank check, and wait for them to fill it out the next time somebody gets pissy over something I wrote.

    2. yet it requires you to link your account to your real world identity which twitter doesn’t

      Twitter does, they just don’t tell you that right away.

    3. It’s just another conservative grift, dude. Sign up, get on some mailing lists, and let your hateful freak flag fly.

  2. “We of course don’t know how successful Parler will ultimately prove, but we’re happy to reach more readers wherever we can find them.”

    There are some places I don’t go. Is Volokh Conspiracy on Gab?

    1. Sometimes I think I’m actually reading Gab when I read the comments here.

      Some participants would be right at home on Gab.

      1. You’re on Gab?

        1. I think you say it ‘you got Gab?’

  3. but if there’s a similar liberal-focused platform, we’d of course be glad to have our blog be readable there, too.

    I humbly suggest a site called Reason.com

    1. Sure, buddy.

    2. If by liberal you mean leftist I think the major platform that caters to them is called Twitter. Classical liberals generally are seen as rightwingers and shunted off to whereever they go.

  4. “If any of you are familiar with such technical matters and can give us some advice about how to fix it, please e-mail me at volokh at law.ucla.edu.”

    Oh, that’s an easy fix. Get yourself an eye of newt, a toadstool growing just to the east of an ash tree, and just a pinch of salt. Boil it all in a large cauldron over an open fire while singing along to the song “I put a spell on you.” After bringing it to a boil, put out the fire, bottle the newt soup, and bury the bottles in a graveyard for thirteen days. Dig up the bottles and pour them on your computer. It should fix the problem.

    1. Or check your file permissions.

      1. Look, this enchantment has been thoroughly spell-checked.

  5. Welcome Parler users. You will find VC fans quite a lively bunch. I have laughed so hard at some of the one-liners and two-liners coming from various lawyers that post here that I have cried, and my sides hurt. Others, well…maybe not as much. 🙂

  6. “Thus, just to give one recent example, I hope my post about Kamala Harris being a natural-born citizen may come across as more persuasive to conservatives than a post from someone whom they see as being a Harris supporter in the first place.”

    Come on, Pete Singer could have argued that Harris was a natural born citizen, and I’d have been persuaded, because it’s just an open and shut case.

    1. I frequently argue open and shut cases on the disapproved side. It may be for heuristic value, but it is still important.

  7. Well, I decided to read the user agreement. A bit on the aggressive side of things, but I could kind of see using it, until they got to that last line about being able to unilaterally alter the agreement without notice.

    That’s not an agreement. It’s only binding on one side!

    1. Actually that is an agreement, i.e. you’re accepting their services and agree to their conditions.

      What you’re looking for is a contract which has terms and responsibilities between the parties to the contract (and that ain’t going to happen).

  8. Thank you Professor.

    I have been on PARLER since the beginning, where I can write Hell and Damn and much worse politically incorrect. I’ll see you there.

    1. You can write essentially anything you like here, Doug Huffman, because you are a conservative. A liberal (or moderate, or libertarian), however, must avoid words such as “c*p s*ccor” and “sl@ck-j@w,” and avoid making fun of conservatives — or be censored. Repeatedly.

      1. Weirdly enough, tons of posts just like this one — in which you whine and wail about not being able to use certain expressions that you actually repeat in the post itself — remain up.

        The cognitive dissonance is strong with this one.

  9. I believe that Harris qualifies as a “natural born US citizen.” I also believe that arguing that issue in the negative is not proof of racism.

    1. The problem here is that the working definition of “racism” is highly contested.

      On the right, it’s something like, “Explicitly conditions treatment on race”.

      On the left, it’s something like, “Does something I don’t like, and somebody involved is a member of a race.”

      They don’t like you questioning whether or not their candidates are qualified, and Harris IS a member of a race, so it’s racist.

      On the left, “racist” really has just become a content free epithet.

      1. Harris OWES reparations for the 200 slaves her family owned.

    2. Your appeasement of right-wing bigots would have been (slightly) more believable before birthers embodied the Republican Party.

  10. Eugene I am a bit disappointed that your references to informing and persuading are unidirectional. Don’t you think it plausible (and worth a mention) that you and your colleagues may be informed and persuaded by your readers?

    1. Be realistic, they’re lawyers.

      A lawyer is barely a hop, skip and jump from a judge, and you know how suggestible judges are.

  11. Not just lawyers, but law *professors*. And Eugene is a particularly bright and hardworking one That said, my impression has been that he is willing to learn from his readers (for example, when he invites reader feedback on friend-of-court drafts).

    1. Agreed. EV is obviously sharkbait. There are vast gaps in his skull which allow other people’s thoughts to get in. I doubt he’ll make it too far in the profession.

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