Gov. Kristi Noem describes the Parler social-media app as a bastion of free speech, but many commenters on her posts are condoning the riot at the U.S. Capitol and calling for more violence.
Parler is favored by users who like its looser policing of offensive and controversial commentary. Noem started her Parler page in November. Her first post said, “So glad to join a platform that respects and protects FREE SPEECH!”
One of her recent Parler posts condemned the violence at the Capitol.
“We are all entitled to peacefully protest,” she wrote. “Violence is not part of that. What’s happening in the Capitol right now must stop.”
Hundreds of Parler users added comments to the post. Many applauded the violence.
One commenter wrote, “Burn it all down, hang all government officials and congressmen.” Another one said, “This is a natural progression to a much-needed civil war.” There were many similar comments.
Noem’s spokesman, Ian Fury, said he and the governor share control of the Parler account. Fury said the governor does not support the offensive comments.
SDPB asked Fury if he plans to delete the comments.
“I don’t actually know, is that an option on Parler?” he said.
In fact, it is possible to delete comments on Parler.
Fury promised to speak with Gov. Noem about it. Later, he responded with an email. It contained this question: “Is the implication that taxpayer dollars should be spent paying a government staffer to police drivel posted by idiots on the internet?”
He then wrote that Parler’s community guidelines say it will remove “reported” member content that constitutes illegal activity. SDPB replied with an email asking if the Noem administration will report the offensive comments.
Fury did not immediately respond.
Meanwhile, Noem's Parler account had a new post Thursday: "There are consequences for how we talk to each other in this country. Today, let's all pray for healing and peace for our nation. Let's all remember that the United States of America is the most special nation in history."
-Contact reporter Seth Tupper by email.