Social media platform Parler is in turmoil. Parler is now offline following Apple, Google, and Amazon having pulled the plug on the website following the violent protest in the U.SCapitol last week, which five people were killed in the Capitol last week.
While the site has been taken down (for the time being), the millions of posts made to it in the aftermath of the riots have not.
A hacker isolated by a hacker has hacked millions of videos, posts, and images uploaded on the site following the riot, but before the website was shut down on Monday, it preserved a massive collection of evidence that could be used by investigators investigating the attempted rebellion by several who made use of the platform to orchestrate the attack on the Capitol.
The hacker and web archiver, with the handle online @donk_enby, scraped the social media site as well as uploaded duplicates to the Internet Archive, which houses old and historic versions of websites.
In an earlier tweet, @donk_enby said she extracted information from Parler that contained deleted and private posts and that the videos contained “all metadata that was associated with it.”
Metadata contains the information contained in a file—for instance, the date of its creation and what device it was created on. The information is typically embedded within the file. The videos that were scraped from Parler are believed to contain the precise location information of where the video was taken. This metadata could prove to be an important source of evidence for police investigating the Capitol riots. It could connect rioters with their Parler accounts or help police uncover rioters using their location information.
The majority of web-based services erase metadata when you upload images and videos However, Parler seems not to have.
Parler quickly became the social media platform that people were using following the news that President Trump was removed by Twitter and Facebook because of his role in causing the riots on January 6. The tech giants argued that Parler was in violation of their rules for not having a policy for content moderation, which is what attracted a lot of users to the website.
Many of the posts contained demands to “burn down Washington, D.C.,” while others demanded the use of force as well as to execute Vice President Mike Pence.
There have already been a number of rioters taken into custody and accused of entering the Capitol Building. A lot of the rioters were not wearing masks (the epidemic notwithstanding), which made it easy to be recognized. However, thanks to Parler’s own security flaw, others may soon receive a door knock.
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