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Selective: Parler Hack

Suzy Woltmann Suzy Woltmann
27th November 2020
Selective: Parler Hack
Parler user data was breached, but not in the manner shared in the viral claim (Getty Images).

The Claim

Right-wing social media platform Parler was hacked.

Emerging story

On November 24, 2020, social media users began sharing the claim. It soon went viral, with many users expressing glee over the alleged hack.

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar’s investigation found that the claim that Parler, a heavily conservative-leaning, free speech-espousing site with over 11 million users, was hacked is selective. The viral claim said that some Parler users provided the platform with their driver’s license photos and social security numbers in order to access different parts of the site, and that this information was hacked and released.

The claim was challenged by Parler CEO John Matze, who said that the site doesn’t store any personal data. 

However, while the site wasn’t hacked in the manner shared by the viral claim, Business Insider found that there was a breach of Parler user data. Third-party vendor Political Media’s cloud with user profile pictures and entire user posts was accessed by hackers. After the claim about the Parler hack went viral, Anonymous founder Aubrey Cottle decided to release the hacked data.

President of Political Media Larry Ward said that “the breachers illegally accessed some of the website content,” but that as far as he knows, it “was publicly available content.” 

Researchers disagreed, however, and said the data does include personal information.

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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