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Partial service restored to Parler after unfiltered social media site booted from Amazon's servers

Parler social media users double in week after election
Posted at 5:05 PM, Jan 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-17 17:05:39-05

Service to Parler, an unfiltered social media site favored by conservatives, was partially restored on Sunday, a week after the site went offline after Amazon refused to continue hosting the site on its servers.

Though the social media functions of the site do not appear to be functional, the visitors to the site are now greeted by a message from Parler CEO John Matze.

"Now seems like the right time to remind you all — both lovers and haters — why we started this platform. We believe privacy is paramount and free speech essential, especially on social media. Our aim has always been to provide a nonpartisan public square where individuals can enjoy and exercise their rights to both," the message, dated Jan. 16, reads. "We will resolve any challenge before us and plan to welcome all of you back soon. We will not let civil discourse perish!"

According to CNN, the website now appears to be hosted by Epik — a company that also hosts websites like message service Gab and right-wing forum 8chan. Both sites have spawned and facilitate the spread of white supremacist viewpoints and conspiracy theories, like QAnon.

In recent months, right-wing conservatives have flocked to Parler after they claimed that traditional social media sites like Twitter and Facebook had gone too far in censoring users. Parler has dubbed itself the "free speech social network."

However, Parler has also attracted conspiracy theorists and violent actors to the platform. Several reports have detailed how Parler users planned aspects of the Jan. 6 attack on the platform.

BuzzFeed also reports that Parler users celebrated the Jan. 6 riots in the days after Trump supporters breached the Capitol and that some were encouraging another gathering in Washington for the day before Biden's inauguration.

Matze has said that it is against Parler's community guidelines to "incite(s) or threaten(s) violence, or other activity which breaks the law." Amazon is just the latest company that has taken steps to de-platform the social media site.

Last weekend, both Apple and Google made the site's mobile app unavailable to download on its platforms.

In 2019, weeks after a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that left 11 people dead, Amazon booted Gab — a social media app favored by far-right conservatives — after an investigation showed the shooter had posted anti-Semitic rants on the site.