Every video ever posted to Parler is now available on a series of torrents that anyone can download. The videos, which make up terabytes of data, are being seeded and combed through by archivists and data hoarders.
The January 6 riots on Capitol Hill were livestreamed on social media. Archivists worked quickly to save the video and data from the day, especially from Parler. A hacker archived more than 56 terabytes of data pulled from the far-right social media site, and now nearly every video captured in that archive is available on Bittorrent for anyone to download and watch.
The project is a work in progress. “These torrents contain video.parler.com public video archives, as they existed,” the projects GitHub explained. “Some videos that were archived by the Archive Team do not exist any longer, but there's still a large chunk left.”
The footage is raw, unsorted, and chaotic. It’s an archive of Parler’s videos as they existed at the moment the archive was scraped after the Capitol Hill riots. They’re unsorted, some of them are fragmented and don’t play, and many have nothing to do with the riots. There’s reposted TikTok videos, memes, foreign-language videos, news footage, and everything in between.
Groups like Bellingcat and several lone archivers have created more manageable ways of seeing videos uploaded from January 6th, but this raw dump will give them more fodder and is going to be far more exhaustive for people willing to parse through them.
One of the first videos I watched as I pieced through the data was the trailer for the 1996 Arnold Schwarzenegger Christmas comedy Jingle All the Way. Some of the material is light, but this being Parler, there’s a definite theme. Masked men with computer altered voices talk over clips of news while talking about the coming storm. A woman painfully details why she believes the COVID-19 vaccine will turn us all into passive mutants. A woman talking directly to the camera with a Snapchat filter that gives her puppy ears and big anime eyes talks about confronting a woman at Wal-Mart about masks.
And there’s also the riot footage, preserved in excruciating detail by hackers and archivists. Every video in the archive is footage that was publicly available at the time the data was scraped. The archive is divided into manageable chunks of around 4GB so seeders aren’t locked into downloading every video at once, and more is being uploaded every hour. An RSS feed for the archive is here. A list of the individual torrents is here.