The alternative social network Parler has reopened after a month offline. The company announced in a press release that the site is now available to users with existing accounts and will accept new signups from next week. It also announces a new interim CEO: Mark Meckler, who previously co-founded the right-wing group Tea Party Patriots. Restart is after Apple, Google and Amazon suspended service in the wake of the January attack on the US Capitol citing violent threats on the platform.
Old Parler user accounts have been restored, but old “parleys” – the site’s designation for posts – do not appear to have uploaded. Some high-profile users, like Fox News host Sean Hannity, have already started posting on the new site. The timelines for other major accounts, such as fellow host Tucker Carlson or Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), remains empty. Many positions were previously archived by an external researcher who scraped them before its removal.
Parler describes itself as politically independent, but the loosely moderated place became popular among conservative users which were either banned from major sites or disagreed with the fact-checking and moderation policies of platforms like Twitter and Facebook. After the election, it became a hub for pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” campaigns, which escalated into a deadly attempt to overthrow the US election on 6 January. The site went offline on January 10, when its old host Amazon Web Services suspended its account.
The platform has now been restarted with what a press release calls “robust, sustainable, independent technology.” Parler transferred its domain registration in January to Epik, a registrar known for provides a refuge to “de-platformed” right-wing websites.
Pearls, however, remain in an uncertain position. Apple and Google have not restored its app to their stores and they are still struggling with one ongoing lawsuit against Amazon, where a judge seemed unsympathetic with his claims. Its former CEO John Matze said he was fired in early February, and the company “is now conducting a thorough search for a permanent CEO” to replace Meckler. It is also under control in Congress – where the House Oversight Committee chairs Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has requested documents on the financing and operation of Parlor.
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