Parler Notified FBI of Violent Content Ahead of Capitol Riot
(Bloomberg) -- Parler said it had alerted the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation about violent content on its platform and specific threats against the Capitol more than 50 times in the weeks before the Jan. 6 riot, which left five people dead and hundreds injured.
The conservative social media site, used by supporters of former President Donald Trump and others on the right, began notifying the bureau in December that people were calling for violence on its network. That included someone who wanted to “start eliminating people” on Jan. 6, according to a letter sent to Representative Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat, on Thursday.
Another person “called for the congregation of an armed force of 150,000” on that date, when Congress was to certify the Electoral College victory of Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
The letter was in response to a Feb. 8 request from Maloney, who heads the House’s Oversight and Reform Committee. The panel has been investigating the site. Maloney has previously called on the FBI to open its own inquiry into the company.
Parler said a user claimed that the planned event on Jan. 6 was “no longer a protest” but was “the final stand where we are drawing the red line at Capitol Hill.” The same user added in a later post that “Trump needs us to cause chaos to enact the #insurrectionact.” Still another user posted a picture of Hillary Clinton behind a noose.
Parler has been under fire for months over its handling of extremism on its platform. In January, after the attack on the Capitol, Apple Inc. banned it from its app store, and Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud unit suspended the network’s account shortly after.
Parler resurfaced in February after SkySilk Inc. agreed to host it.
The company declined to comment on Thursday evening. The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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