The website for the right-wing social media app Parler suddenly re-emerged with a message on Sunday, just one week after Amazon suspended it from its web hosting service and Google and Apple removed it from their app stores.
‘Hello world, is this thing on?’ CEO John Matze wrote in a message, dated January 16, accompanied by an image of an egg-timer and a ‘technical difficulties’ banner.
‘Now seems like the right time to remind you all — both lovers and haters — why we started this platform,’ Matze continued. ‘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.
‘We will resolve any challenge before us and plan to welcome all of you back soon. We will not let civil discourse perish!’
While Parler’s website showed limited signs of life Sunday, its app, however, remains completely offline.
‘Hello world, is this thing on?’ CEO John Matze wrote in a message, dated January 16, accompanied with an image of an egg-timer and a ‘technical difficulties’ banner
‘Now seems like the right time to remind you all — both lovers and haters — why we started this platform,’ Matze (pictured above) continued. ‘We believe privacy is paramount and free speech essential, especially on social media’
A little over a week ago, Apple Inc suspended the Parler from its App Store, shortly after Alphabet-owned Google banned it from Google Play, in the wake of the US Capitol riots on January 6. The app is still unavailable for download on both platforms.
Amazon.com Inc then suspended Parler from its web hosting service, effectively taking the site offline.
In a letter announcing the move, Amazon said it ‘cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others.’
Parler was largely blamed for failing to remove posts that incited violence against elected officials, including Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi. The platform was also identified as a site where people who participated in the deadly assault had planned the attack.
Parler has since re-registered its domain with the right-wing web-hosting firm Epik, a company that supports far-right sites such as Gab and 8chan.
It remains unclear who Parler’s web host is, with the company not having yet commented on the matter.
In a statement to CNN, Epik spokesperson Robert Davis said the company does not provide Parler’s web hosting.
Davis said Epik has a zero-tolerance approach to fighting racism, ‘and actively denounces any activities utilized to create hardship for others based on skin color, ethnicity, origin, or belief system.’
A little over a week ago, Apple Inc suspended the Parler from its App Store, shortly after Alphabet-owned Google banned it from Google Play, in the wake of the US Capitol riots on January 6. The app is still unavailable for download on both platforms
Amazon.com Inc then suspended Parler from its web hosting service, effectively taking the site offline unless it can find a new company to host its services
Last week, Parler disappeared from the web with an error message saying ‘we can’t connect to the server’ after Amazon pulled the plug
The app was removed from the Google app store after conservative social media users flocked to the site in the wake of the Capitol attack
Epik previously released a lengthy statement on January 11, blasting what it called a ‘knee jerk reaction’ by the likes of Google and Amazon for ‘simply deplatforming and terminating any relationship that on the surface looks problematic or controversial.’
Parler last week sued Amazon, alleging that its suspension from the company’s online hosting service violated antitrust law and breached the companies’ contracts.
The platform’s complaint accused Amazon of applying a politically motivated double standard to Parler and of reducing ‘competition in the microblogging services market to the benefit of Twitter.’
Attorneys for the e-commerce giant issued a statement days later, defending the decision and said that Parler had demonstrated an ‘unwillingness and inability’ to remove content that ‘threatens the public safety, such as by inciting and planning the rape, torture, and assassination of named public officials and private citizens.’
A Tuesday court filing from Amazon said that the company ‘repeatedly’ notified Parler that its content violated their agreement and requested removal, ‘only to determine that Parler was both unwilling and unable to do so.’
John Matze founded Parler in 2018 as a ‘free-speech driven’ alternative to mainstream platforms. He is pictured with his family
Right-wing social media users have flocked to Parler, along with other apps such as Telegram and social site Gab, citing the more aggressive policing of political comments on mainstream platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, which has intensified since Capitol riot.
A Friday court filing by Matze claimed that the CEO has been forced to flee his home after receiving death threats in the wake of the riots.
His attorney, David Groesbeck, wrote in the document that Matze had to ‘go into hiding with his family after receiving death threats and invasive personal security breaches.’
The filing came as part of Parler’s anti-trust lawsuit against Amazon, and sought to seal parts of the suit as a safety measure.
Five people died in the DC riots on January 6, including a Capitol Police Officer who was struck in the head with a fire extinguisher, and a woman who was shot dead by law enforcement while attempting to force her way through a barricaded door.
President Trump himself has seen his a number of his accounts indefinitely suspended by a host of social media companies – including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – for his perceived part in inciting the insurrection.