Dateline Monday March 22, 2021; Boston.

Episode 5 of “Extra Sandini Perception,” “Danger With Parler and The Mercers” will air live, Monday March 22 at 7PM West Coast, 10PM East Coast. You can join us live on Spreaker by following this link in any browser.

Using Gab, my alternative to Facebook and Twitter, I was asked “why not Parler? Shortly after “The Capitol Insurrection,” (it was nothing of the sort) many people were sorely disappointed. The platform they had chosen as an alternative social media platform, Parler, was actually shut down. Amazon, the hosting provider for the system “pulled the plug on Parler.” Why? Amazon and it’s CEO Billionaire CEO Jeff Bezos decided that there were posts that incited violence by MAGA folks, and that this violated Amazon’s terms of service. So they pulled the plug.

In the aftermath investigation following the Capitol Bruhaha citizen journalists discovered quite the contrary: that almost all of the organization was done on Facebook and Twitter. But that didn’t matter of course. The Left is always looking for a way to shut down Conservative speech. On January 8th Google banned it from it’s App Store and shortly after that Apple followed. In the end Bezos stepped in and it went dark entirely.

So now Parler is back, funded almost entirely by 47 year old Conservative high roller Rebekah Mercer. She is daughter of hedge fund Renaissance Technologies founder Billionaire Robert Mercer who made his Billions as a computer scientist at Cambrige Analytics. She began funding Parler and became its cofounder in August 2018 and has now stepped in with the necessary cash. Here are my concerns.


Rebekah Mercer is writing the checks for the Parler Reboot.

The problem I have is one of agency. If Mercer is writing Parler’s checks what happens when the free speech expressed therein goes against her political ideology of the day. For example Mercer is a big supporter of the Heritage Foundation, which famously supported mandatory health Insurance long before Obama did. This was styled after “Romney Care which bankrupted Massachusetts. What happens when free speech on the platform begins to lambaste that element of Obamacare, for example. When you are writing millions of dollars to Parler to advocate positions you don’t agree with, the temptation is to cut off the funds. While Mercer certainly is a supporter of free speech, there is certainly a conflict of interest there. A September 2016 Politico headline called her “the most powerful woman in GOP politics.” The situation certainly gives me a moment of pause.

Rebekah Mercer worked with Steve Bannon to create the documentary “Clinton Cash,” stood behind Trump during the Access Hollywood Scandal and apparently has no affection for Mitt Romney. But politics change and often make for strange bedfellows. I believe this could cause problems in the future. This would be long after MAGA conservatives spend thousands of hours making the platform their own, using it as a repository for Conservative information and to promote its values. What if if prior to the next election it goes dark again?

Melded in here is a sort of “right pocket into the left pocket” kind of thing that to me is worrisome. Mercer gave 25 Million to the GOP last election cycle. Then the GOP turned around and bought the data mining services of Mercer’s Cambridge Analytics for the election. There are all kinds of potential for conflicts of interest here. It reminds me of people like Maxine Waters who funds her daughter’s consulting firm for millions of dollars. Is this the type of nepotistic behavior MAGA Conservatives want to emulate? It sure seems hypocritical.


Parler does scan posts looking for things that violate their terms of service. Even more disconcerting, Parler admits that they are using Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) software to filter you! What if the COTS vendor changes its software and/or views? What if they pull the plug? This presents further additional risks that the posts you write may be swallowed whole forever.

According to Parler: “Content that incites violence would be removed by an automated system while material that targets people based on characteristics such race, ethnicity or sexual orientation wouldn’t be removed but placed behind a filter.”

So for example, what if I use the expression “gonna blow my brains out?” The automated system is going to find me? Now they have admitted using AI bots to troll through your posts. How hard is it to reprogram that? What if I post articles favorable to the Confederacy? Are they going to filter that? What’s going to happen when people start attacking the Mercer family on Parler?

“It’s going to be like what you see on Twitter, I’m sorry to compare,” Mercer said. “It’s like a little box where you can click if you want to see behind the box.”

The vendor for the filter is Hive, according to a person familiar with the matter. Hive also works with Reddit to moderate content, according to its website.

As the old saying goes, “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” So bottom line the reborn Parler has issues of advocacy and is already filtering your posts. It’s not something I want to participate in.

Inspired by Andrew Breitbart and James O’Keefe, Dan Sandini is an independent citizen journalist working out of Portland, Oregon. He is a staunch advocate of the First Amendment. In 2010 he was assaulted by Democrat thugs for having the temerity to record a speech by then gubernatorial candidate John Kitzhaber. He produced a video of the Orwellian experience, which has received almost 70,000 views. Following the 2011 Tax Day TEA Party he produced videos detailing the hateful rhetoric and behavior of the Left, including homophobia, racism, anti-Americanism, and threats of violence. These videos have been seen by over 1 Million people and were featured on The Glenn Beck Program, The O’Reilly Factor, and Sean Hannity.


  1. Mr. Sandini, you have asked and made excellent questions and points. One agency platforms, or those run by like minded boards that might as well be one agency, will continue to be a problem. A person might expect to join two different platforms to get both sides of an issue, but let’s face it, it will be both sides from a far left or right view, and that is not to be interpreted that we want moderate statement of ideas. What we want is truthful statements and arguments, so we can make informed decisions and form well thought out opinions.

    Now, since I have babbled on and on, I will be interested in what develops in the near future. Perhaps, President Trump or Mike Lindell’s new platforms will give us a needed alternative. Not so much that they will be unbias, the people joining them will be looking for a place to voice opinions opposite those on Facebook and Twitter, but it will give us an opportunity to review alternative thoughts.

    Let’s face it, it will be human nature to remain on platforms that let us voice our opinions and those of a like mind. However, that being said, perhaps, we should help platforms develop with civil discourse. Another words, instead of all name calling and insults, take on arguments with ideas and facts. It would certainly promote the health of the platform, be more appealing to the masses, and possibly be more palatable to one agency style platforms.

    • Hey Harold! Great to hear from you! We should get together next time I am in Bangor. Your observations are spot on. In my limited interactions with Breitbart he said “Truth” more than any other word. Two geniuses of like minds: you and he.

      In business school we are taught about issues of agency. Does your broker want you to succeed? YES. But … he is motivated by how often you trade, which is where he makes his cut. A conflict of interest exists in his desire to increase what’s called “the churn” of your account.

      Similarly I think someone like Trump will be motivated to add terms to the key words of the bots. Let’s say for example, silence each post that accuses him of an infidelity. Even if he doesn’t do it, the temptation is for one of his software engineers to quietly add terms to the search meta data, and shadow ban you based upon that list. Perhaps that list should always be public?

      Thanks for the thoughtful reply you e really added to the discussion. I’ll include your comments tonight. Cheers -d

  2. I am always grateful when people like Rebekah Mercer put their money where their mouth is, or in this case, where our conservative mouths are. Thankfully, she lives up to the philosophy of “To whom much is given, much is required.” Having said that, this blog raises many great and seemingly inherent conflicts of interest. In a free market, people are able to invest their money where they want. And also in a free market, cash can be the currency of control. I think what we have here is a matter of technology developing at warp speed, and regulatory policy and ethics are having a tough time keeping up. People like Ms. Mercer who invest in protecting and perpetuating our solemn right of free speech should also consider demanding forums where they place their money to set up guidelines to protect free speech even from the clout of any specific investor or benefactor. This would be a self-driven safeguard to protect the integrity of forums like Parler, while also providing the Ms. Mercers of the world a social return on their very important free-speech investment. The issues raised here are worthy of reflection and assessment. They are also worthy of self-resolve for the good of all.

    • Wow Katie thanks for taking the time to reply. Mercer is obviously an altruistic person and I don’t mean to cast aspersions on her character. But each of us no matter how well motivated is affected by this. One unique aspect of Gab is it is funded by the users. Does that protect free speech entirely? I suppose not. But I speculate it eliminates one opportunity. I love your idea of putting money where ones mouth is. Very insightful.

      What about a “Bill of Rights for Posters” which limits the ability of the owners managers and engineers to censor! I love it! As near as I know you are the First to propose such a thing. Genius. I’ll talk about it with Jayne!

    • Katie, part of your statement jumped out and grabbed me like stopping a person of little attention stepping into traffic. “Technology developing at warp speed, and regulatory policy and ethics are having a tough time keeping up,” man, are those big words and gigantic ideas.

      We can depend on Technology to continue to develop at warp speed, that’s what Technology does. Similarly, Regulatory Policy will always be a step or more behind, it’s more or less handled by Government complete with hearings, investigation, and lobbyist. Perhaps my thoughts on Ethics will be of question, but aren’t Ethics set by us? It seems to be the one area we can control or have a major impact.

      Your insights are solid and your points strong.

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