Parler, the social network known for hugging many of the people banned from Twitter, YouTube, and other tech platforms, has officially gone dark after Amazon Web Services stopped supporting the site.
Pulling out the Amazon power plug takes place after removing the Parler app from the Apple and Google app stores at the weekend. All tech companies felt that further improving the app could encourage violence, as many Donald Trump supporters recently joined Parler. Last week’s attack on the US Capitol followed a series of posts on Parler that encouraged false claims of election fraud and fueled the outrage that led to the fatal incursion into Washington.
Twitter and Facebook banned Trump from their platforms, and several others did so, after the president repeatedly urged followers to march on the Capitol. Unlike Parler, Twitter had attempted to flag, or sometimes delete, posts spreading lies about the election, the results of which were upheld by dozens of courts that threw lawsuits from Trump and his supporters. The explosive growth of Parler in 2020 was in large part due to a willingness to offer users a platform that specifically does not limit language. Several social media characters banned elsewhere flocked to the site. When other social media companies finally took action after initially claiming they shouldn’t be held responsible for their users’ posts, Parler went in the opposite direction.
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Parler CEO John Matze told Fox News Sunday that the measures taken against his company “would put anyone out of business”. This morning he was greeted on the air by Fox Business for a 10-minute section with host Maria Bartiromo, who has stood her ground as one of Trump’s most tenacious defenders in recent months. It didn’t disappoint, calling the Parler News “really devastating” and suggesting that Matzes shareholders file an antitrust lawsuit over a “coordinated attack by big tech.”
“I never thought that I would live in a country where this would happen,” said Matze. “The site is inaccessible – it’s just a black hole. It’s pretty awful. “
Last Friday, according to the CEO, the Parler app was number 1 in the US in the app stores with 20 million users. On Sunday, the company disappeared from all popular places, and no company will host the website or sell its app. “We called all the big tech players,” he said. “They all said no.”
Matze said Parler will get back on the Internet at some point, but may need to “buy and build” its own back-end tech operation and servers as a workaround.