Parler, a Social Network That Attracted Trump Fans, Returns Online

Parler

Parler, a Social Network That Attracted Trump Fans, Returns Online

After being cut off by Amazon and other tech giants, Parler worked for weeks to find a way to get back on the internet.

Parler, a Social Network That Attracted Trump Fans, Returns Online – The New York Times

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Parler, a Social Network That Attracted Trump Fans, Returns Online

After being cut off by Amazon and other tech giants, Parler worked for weeks to find a way to get back on the internet.

Parler had been offline since Jan. 10, after Amazon cut off the company from its web-hosting services.Credit…Christophe Gateau/DPA, via Associated Press

By

Feb. 15, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO — Parler, the social network that before disappearing from the internet, is back online a month after for hosting calls for violence around the time of the Capitol riot.

Getting iced out by the tech giants turned Parler into a cause célèbre for conservatives who complained they were being censored, as well as a test case for the openness of the internet. It was unclear if the social network, which had positioned itself as a free speech and lightly moderated site, could survive after it had been blacklisted by the biggest tech companies.

For weeks, it appeared the answer was no. But on Monday, for the first time since Jan. 10, typing parler.com into a web browser returned a page to log into the social network — a move that had required weeks of work by the small company and that had led to the departure of its chief executive.

Parler executives did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.

After many large web-hosting firms rejected Parler, the site came back online with the help of a small provider near Los Angeles called SkySilk. Kevin Matossian, SkySilk’s chief executive, said in a statement that he was helping Parler to support free speech. For other services required to run a large website, Parler relied on that once worked for the Russian government and that once supported a neo-Nazi site.

over disagreements on how to run the site. Ms. Mercer hired Mark Meckler, a leading voice in the Tea Party movement, to replace Mr. Matze.

Before the site’s return on Monday, Parler executives had said they were rejected by multiple web-hosting companies that either feared a public-relations backlash or a cyberattack if they agreed to support the site.

On Monday morning, after Parler suddenly appeared on the web again, data behind its website showed that it was being supported by SkySilk. Hours later, Mr. Matossian, SkySilk’s C.E.O., emailed a statement that said he was taking a stand for Parler.

“SkySilk does not advocate nor condone hate, rather, it advocates the right to private judgment and rejects the role of being the judge, jury and executioner. Unfortunately, too many of our fellow technology providers seem to differ,” he said. “While we may disagree with some of the sentiment found on the Parler platform, we cannot allow First Amendment rights to be hampered or restricted by anyone or any organization.”

About a week after it went offline, Parler set up a basic webpage for people trying to visit its social network with simple messages that said the company was working to get back online and notes of support from conservatives like Sean Hannity, the Fox News host, and Senator Rand Paul, Republican from Kentucky.

That page, which was so simple it could have been hosted from a single laptop, still required cybersecurity protections to stay online, in part because Parler has been under attack from internet vigilantes who believe it helped play a role in the Capitol riot.

To stay online, Parler got help from DDoS-Guard, a Russian firm, which that the Russian government could surveil Parler users. Parler also partnered with Epik, a Seattle company, for its domain registration, a basic service of the internet. Epik has that lost their support from other companies, including the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi site.

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