Parler is back online with its web app but is still blocked by Apple and Google’s app stores

The Parler social network was dropped from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Apple's App Store, and Google Play in early January, but its web app is back online after finding a new hosting provider.

Parler

The Parler social media app is back up after over a month of silence. The tool was dropped from Amazon Web Services and the two major mobile app stores after the riots at the US Capitol on January 6 over claims that the app refused to moderate posts and language that incited violence. 

Parler is now hosted by SkySilk, which TechCrunch reported is a reseller of the French OVHcloud. Users can only access the app via a web browser—it has yet to be reinstated in the app stores. And users may be disappointed to find out that their pre-shutdown content has gone missing from their accounts, although the app promises to restore that data. 

Parler says it has archived all user content, and that it will be added back to the site. Parler users uploaded videos from the January 6 Capitol riot to the site, which were archived by @done_enby and used as evidence in the impeachment trial.
William Turton of Bloomberg reports that Parler has an archive of all user content

Parler is under new management

In early February, former CEO John Matze was fired by the board at the request of Republican donor Rebekah Mercer. The new CEO is Tea Party Patriots founder and president of Citizens for Self-Governance, Mark Meckler.

In an apparent attempt to avoid a repeat of January’s events, Parler has announced that it will use human and AI monitors to moderate content. This isn’t an empty promise: One user located a “troll filter” in the new settings.

Parler Troll Filter
Troll Filter in relaunched Parler web app

SkySilk, for its part, has released a statement that it is hosting Parler in accordance with its beliefs on free speech and the First Amendment. 

SkySilk truly believes and supports the freedom of speech and more specifically the rights afforded to us in the First Amendment. This is a non-negotiable issue for us. And 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.

SkySilk will support Parler in their efforts to be a nonpartisan Public Square as we are convinced this is the only appropriate course of action.

SkySilk CEO Kevin Matossian via Twitter

What the relaunch of Parler’s web app means for other social networks

The Parler relaunch probably doesn’t mean much to other social networks. Parler may gain back some of its traction with users, but it doesn’t stand a chance if it can’t get reinstated in the app stores.

In terms of moderated content and “free speech” issues, Facebook recently announced an Oversight Board to independently moderate posts and content, and Twitter reiterated its ban of former President Trump is permanent.

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Tamara Scott is a writer and content strategist based in Nashville. With a background in English education, she plans and writes clear, instructive content for marketers and technology users of all skill levels. Follow @t_scottie