Update (Saturday 1/9/2021, 11:25 pm EST): Parler CEO John Matze announced that on Sunday, Amazon will suspend Parler from using its cloud hosting service Amazon Web Services. The suspension means that Parler will be unable to operate unless it can quickly find another hosting service. "There is the possibility Parler will be unavailable on the internet for up to a week as we rebuild from scratch," wrote Matze on his Parler page.
"We will try our best to move to a new provider right now as we have many competing for our business, however Amazon, Google and Apple purposefully did this as a coordinated effort knowing our options would be limited and knowing this would inflict the most damage right as President Trump was banned from the tech companies."
Late on Friday night, Twitter announced the banning of Donald Trump’s account. The move came after other major social network platforms including Facebook and Instagram announced a similar ban. These announcements were made following booms in popularity for social media platforms widely used by members ofTrump’s base and the alt-right, according to The New York Times.
One such app is Parler, which bills itself as a haven for free speech enthusiasts and has been attracting high-profile conservatives since its launch in 2018. Sen. Ted Cruz has a Parler profile, asdo Fox News stars like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity. Brian Littrell from the Backstreet Boys and Kirstie Alley. The new tweet du jour among conservatives is “follow me on Parler.” The app currently boasts more than 10 million active users, and, according to Techcrunch, Parler was the number one download in Apple’s app store on Friday.
But now, tech giants are threatening to curb Parler’s popularity. Late on Saturday night, Apple announced that it had banned the app from its store, stating that “Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety.” One day earlier, Google announced a similar ban for the same reasons.
Parler’s Terms of Service, last updated on November 27th, says the platform can remove content and terminate a user’s access if they “create risk or possible legal exposure for Parler, or are otherwise engaging in unlawful conduct.” It then adds, somewhat puzzingly, “—although Parler endeavors to allow all free speech that is lawful and does not infringe the legal rights of others.”
Posting on his personal Parler page, CEO John Matze categorized Apple’s decision as an assault on the presumption of innocence: “Apple will be banning Parler until we give up free speech, institute broad and invasive policies like Twitter and Facebook and we become a surveillance platform by pursuing guilt of those who use Parler before innocence.”
Parler’s ban from Google and Apple’s app stores will undoubtedly limit its ability to reach new users, but, as of now, the platform is still available via web browser. Anyone who wants to create a Parler account is free to do so, and many people suspect that Trump will join Parler in the next few days. There is already a page belonging to the official Parler account for the Trump campaign. But given the size and scope of his base, it’s possible Trump may choose to forge his own path. If that’s the case, may we recommend a return to blogging?
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