It's not quite a stampede, but a migration of conservative Twitter users to rival Parler accelerated this week after Twitter shut down two prominent pro-Trump accounts. Some 500,000 new users signed up to Parler in the space of three days, boosting its total to 1.5 million, compared to 330 million on Twitter, Mediaite reports. Conservative meme creator "Carpe Donktum" was permanently banned from Twitter this week for repeated copyright violation and the account of National Pulse editor Raheem Kassam was locked after he shared graphic video of a stabbing attack in England. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said Thursday that he had joined Parler, which calls itself a "non-biased" Twitter alternative, because it "gets what free speech is all about."
Other conservatives, including Donald Trump Jr. and Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, have also recently set up accounts on Parler, which launched in 2018. The site was already used by some commentators banned from Twitter, including Alex Jones and Katie Hopkins. Turning Point USA's Benny Johnson declared Wednesday that he was done with the "communist gulag dumpster fire" of Twitter and was moving to Parler, although he continued to use his Twitter account, the Hollywood Reporter notes. Parler says it will never censor political speech, although it will remove content like pornography. In its "Declaration of Internet Independence," it calls Twitter a "Tech Tyrant" that "has banned millions of Americans for their political ideology." (Read more social media stories.)