Parler Is Back Online

Controversial social media site returns to the web
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2021 12:39 AM CST
Parler Returns to the Web
The website of the social media platform Parler is displayed in Berlin, Jan. 10, 2021.   (Christophe Gateau/dpa via AP)

Parler is back. The website for the controversial social network was online again as of Sunday afternoon, CNN reports, indicating it has found a hosting service after Amazon Web Services gave it the boot, though it's not clear which host that might be. "Hello world, is this thing on?" reads a message from CEO John Matze, who said last week his family has gone into hiding due to death threats. A brief post headlined, "Technical Difficulties" also appears: "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," it reads. "Our aim has always been to provide a nonpartisan public square where individuals can enjoy and exercise their rights to both. We will resolve any challenge before us and plan to welcome all of you back soon. We will not let civil discourse perish!"

Also Sunday, Apple CEO Tim Cook defended removing Parler from the App Store, and Donald Trump Jr. ranted about Parler's takedown and called for followers to simply go to his website and sign up for his email list. "Free speech in America is dead. It doesn't exist right now," Trump said. "If you're not one of them, if you're not a chosen one by the Big Tech overlords, you have no free speech in this country anymore and certainly have no way by which to get any speech out." Parler is, of course, popular with those on the far-right, and has been decried for failing to moderate posts calling for violence, including the riot at the US Capitol. But Matze tells Fox News he's "confident that by the end of the month, we’ll be back up" entirely. There are a number of other social media sites that right-wingers are flocking to, and SFGate recently took a look at five of them: Gab, MeWe, Rumble, Wimkin, and Telegram. (Read more Parler stories.)

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