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Parler leaked verified users’ private email addresses in Kanye West acquisition announcement

The most prominent members of the conservative social media platform, I will speakwere in for not one but two surprises on Monday.

First, the news most people have likely heard about is that Ye, aka Kanye West, the rapper-turned-right-wing-pundit, has agreed to acquire Parler. This announcement came following a number of TV appearances and interviews during which Ye went on anti-semitic rants. Ye had also been seen spending time with conservative commentator Candace Owens, whose husband George Farmer just also happens to be CEO of Parler.

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But that wasn’t the only big news. Parler’s VIPs were also doxxed on Monday evening as part of a special email announcement from Parler executives intended only for the platform’s verified users.

“Our VIPs are an invaluable part of the Parler family and experience,” read the e-mail for Parler’s VIP users signed by its Outreach team. “We appreciate all your support and partnership in fighting for free speech, and we look forward to your involvement in this monumental new chapter.”

However, one thing Parler doesn’t seem to appreciate is its VIPs’ privacy. Around 200 recipients of this announcement were CC’d on the email instead of BCC’d. This means their names and private email addresses were visible to everyone who received the email. And, of course, their names and email addresses will remain visible to everyone who gets forwarded this letter by other recipients afterwards.

Ivanka Trump, Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, right-wing provocateur Andy Ngo, and Candace Owens were among those VIPs whose email addresses were leaked.

According to one Twitter user who received the email and the subsequent reply-all messages from the doxxed recipients, the thread quickly filled with users’ hawking their products and sharing far-right messaging, including racial slurs.

Of course, this wasn’t the first time Parler experienced security and privacy issues. Following the pro-Trump riots at the Capitol on Jan. 6, intrepid hacktivists quickly realized Parler had inadvertently allowed users to scrape the platforms of all of its posts and media content. This content also included GPS coordinates and other metadata for each user.

Parler, at the time, was experiencing a short-term boost of popularity among conservative users, some of whom just happened to take part in the riots. The photos and videos archived from Parler quickly spread.

Today, Parler barely receives any traffic and is overshadowed by other conservative platforms like Trump’s Truth Social and the far-right site Gab. According to Comscore data (via right-wing media tracker TheRighting)Parler only received 137,000 unique visitors this past August, down from the 12.3 million it received at its height in January 2021.

Following the email address leak, the COO of Parler’s parent company, Parlement Technologies sent another email to VIPs, apologizing for the earlier message.

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“Earlier today, we shared with you news about Ye’s intent to purchase Parler. In the excitement, we inadvertently included your email address in the CC field instead of the BCC field, “he said.” To say we’re highly embarrassed is an understatement. “

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