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 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.
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.