Parler’s website suddenly appeared online on Jan. 17 with a message from its CEO, John Matze, who said, “Hello world, is this thing on?” The website only included the message.
The message suggests Parler was able to find another hosting service, coming about a week after Amazon Web Services booted the social media website from its services, taking the site down. It came as Parler—billed as a “free speech” platform—was seeing an unprecedented surge in users as prominent conservatives, among others, were being banned from Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms.
Matze also issued a temporary status update.
“Now seems like the right time to remind you all—both lovers and haters—why we started this platform,” Matze wrote. “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. We will resolve any challenge before us and plan to welcome all of you back soon. We will not let civil discourse perish!”
Amazon Web Services’ rationale behind jettisoning Parler was due to a lack of moderation, and came in the backdrop of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots. Parler, in a court filing, citing text messages between Matze and an Amazon representative, claimed Amazon was primarily concerned with whether President Donald Trump would migrate to Parler after his Twitter account was banned last week.
The same filing asserted that Amazon didn’t appear to care much about alleged violent threats that were made by Parler users.
Last week, Parler asked a federal court in Washington state to block Amazon’s decision, while maintaining that Amazon engaged in monopolistic practices by booting the platform. Twitter is also a major client of Amazon Web Services.
According to a WHOIS search, Parler appears to be hosted by Epik, which also hosts social media website Gab.
While it didn’t confirm Parler was seeking its services, Epik in a statement last week blasted Big Tech companies’ “kneejerk reaction” of “simply deplatforming and terminating any relationship that on the surface looks problematic or controversial.” The statement noted that Epik is “not quick to abandon our administrative positions,” as it attempted to contrast itself and Amazon.
In addition to Amazon’s decision, Google and Apple removed Parler from their respective app stores.
Earlier on Jan. 17, Matze said there was no indication Amazon, Google, and Apple would pull their services.
In the days up to the suspension, Matze told Fox News, “Amazon, as usual, [was] basically saying, ‘Oh, I never saw any material problems. There’s no issues.’ You know, they played it off very nonchalantly. And so we had still even, you know, on the 8th and the 9th, you know, we had no real indication that this was, you know, deadly serious.”