Parler Is Back Online, One Week After Being Kicked Off Amazon’s Web Server
Parler, a social media platform that has become a popular forum for Trump supporters and has faced heavy criticism for its relaxed attitude to hate speech and conspiracy theories, has appeared back online, just over a week after Amazon said it had stopped the site from using its internet service.
The website, which describes itself as ‘the free speech social network’, was effectively forced offline last week after Apple and Google also blocked downloads of the app, citing Parler’s failure to moderate racist and violent content posted by its users.
But just eight days later, it looks like it’s back. In a message posted on the site on Saturday with the caption, ‘Hello world, is this thing on,’ Parler CEO John Matze confirmed that the company had found a new domain host, adding that, although the app remains frozen, he ‘[planned] to welcome all of you back soon’.
In the statement, Matze said:
Now seems like the right time to remind you all – both lovers and haters – why we started this platform. We believe privacy is paramount and free speech essential, especially on social media…
Our aim has always been to provide a nonpartisan public square where individuals can enjoy and exercise their rights to both.
According to Gizmodo, Parler’s domain name is now registered to Epik, a web hosting service also used by other popular right-wing forums that have previously been banned from traditional servers, including Gab, 8chan and neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer.
Epik CEO Rob Monster, who once called former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke a ‘pretty clever guy’, had previously criticised the decision to remove Parler from app stores as a ‘knee-jerk reaction’, however a spokesperson for the company last night denied that Epik had held discussions with Parler about hosting the website.
Criticism of Parler, which has emerged as something of a haven for Trump supporters and far-right activists after the likes of Twitter and Facebook clamped down on misinformation following the 2020 election, had grown louder in the days and weeks following the Capitol riots, after it was discovered that several groups present at the riot had spread information and plans related to storming the Capitol on the app.
More than 500 videos taken by people involved in the riot were uploaded to Parler, with The Telegraph reporting that the platform saw more than 200,000 downloads in a single day following the attack. In an interview with Fox News, Matze said he expected the platform to be fully back up and running by the end of the month.
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