Parler’s doing just as they said they would: coming back online. The social media platform that was unceremoniously deplatformed following a seemingly coordinated effort by tech giants relaunched on Monday.
In January, Amazon Web Services terminated Parler’s hosting, and both the iOS App Store and Google Play removed it from their storefronts. Parler tried to reverse Amazon’s decision by suing the company on antitrust grounds, which were denied.
It’s been weeks since the app went offline, and it has returned, presumably with a new web host.
Some changes, though: the company’s former CEO, John Matze, was ousted by the company’s board of directors. As reported earlier by Rebel News, Matze said in early February that he faced “constant resistance” to his strong belief in free speech. Furthermore, every post made prior to the blackout has since been wiped off Parler’s database.
For now, the return to Parler is at a trickle, with many of its former users posting on Twitter to complain about the removal of their old “parleys” — the site’s term for posts — with some accusing the company of being a “honey pot” for federal investigators. Despite these complaints, some high profile users, like Fox News host Sean Hannity, have returned to using the site.
In the aftermath of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, Parler was accused of hosting rioters who planned the attack. Parler reportedly played host to a large number of #StopTheSteal activists ahead of the event, but there is less evidence that the riot was coordinated on the platform.
The Program on Extremism at George Washington University found that most of the references to the riot ahead of January 6 took place on other platforms, including Facebook, where several members of the Oath Keepers militia livestreamed their activities during the riot.
As reported by Forbes, Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg downplayed the platform’s role in the attack, but the company has since taken steps towards reducing the presence of fringe political groups on its social media service.