Parler Returns In Skeletal Form, Reportedly With Backing From Infamous Russian-Owned Digital Firm

Dade Hayes
·2 min read

Social network Parler has returned to the internet, with the company’s founders continuing to promise a full-fledged comeback after the site was banished for its role in the January 6 siege at the U.S. Capitol.

Parler went dark earlier this month after Amazon Web Services decided to terminate its hosting agreement. The move followed the Parler app being removed from the Apple and Android stores.

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A report by Reuters on Monday said the IP address used by Parler is owned by DDos-Guard, an entity controlled by two Russian men that has been linked to racist, right-wing and conspiracy sites, including 8kun. An infrastructure expert told the wire service that the company provides services including protection from distributed denial of service attacks.

“Our return is inevitable due to hard work, and persistence against all odds,” co-founder and CEO John Matze wrote in a message posted on the site. “Despite the threats and harassment not one Parler employee has quit. We are becoming closer and stronger as a team.”

The networking functionality of the Parler site is not available in its current incarnation.

Followers of Donald Trump flocked to Parler in recent months as the once-marginal site became known for having a far more laissez-faire stance on speech than mainstream platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Many personalities banned by larger networks hopped over to Parler, and some with large Twitter followings also decamped. After Trump supporters invaded the Capitol in an hours-long incursion over Congress certifying Trump’s election defeat to President-elect Joe Biden, the role of Parler and platforms like Gab and Telegram in helping rioters communicate became more widely known.

In a court filing last week responding to Parler’s lawsuit over alleged breach of contract, Amazon detailed numerous posts on Parler calling for the “rape, torture and assassination of public officials and private citizens.” While this material reached a crescendo before and during January 6, the tech company said, it had flagged the content for months, but Parler management was “unable or unwilling” to remove it.

Twitter and Facebook, among others, banned Trump’s widely followed accounts in the aftermath of the Capitol siege.

Parler’s disappearance was met with howls of outrage in some quarters, with TV personalities like Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo decrying the ouster by tech giants as an unwarranted attack on free enterprise.

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