Parler’s web site reveals indicators of life following the AWS fallout

The Parler website home screen on a laptop was laid out in the Brooklyn neighborhood of New York on Friday, December 18, 2020.

Gabby Jones | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Parler’s website – a social media platform popular with conservatives and supporters of President Donald Trump – is back online, albeit in very limited form.

Unlike last week, the website now loads and displays a short message from Parler CEO John Matze that reads, “Hello world, is this up?”

The Parler website went offline on Jan. 11 after Amazon withdrew its support following the deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol. The website relied on cloud computing power provided by Amazon Web Services.

AWS withdrew its support for Parler on January 10th after it was determined that posts on the company’s website and apps encourage and encourage violence.

“It is clear that there is significant content on Parler that encourages and incites violence against others and that Parler is unable or unwilling to promptly identify and remove such content in violation of our Terms of Use.” said an AWS spokesman.

They added, “We have shared our concerns with Parler for several weeks and during that time we’ve seen a significant increase in this type of dangerous content, not a decrease that led to our discontinuation of their services.”

Matze said in a statement that Parler removed violent content and added that its community guidelines do not allow Parler to be knowingly used for criminal activity.

Parler’s mobile apps are nowhere to be seen. Google and Apple removed the Parler app from their app stores on January 8th and 9th.

Technical difficulties

Although the Parler website is no longer completely offline, technical issues are still occurring and Parler users can no longer use it as before.

See Matze’s short message for a post on the company’s ongoing technical difficulties.

“Now seems like the right time to remind all of you – lovers and haters alike – why we started this platform. We believe that privacy and freedom of speech are paramount, especially on social media. Our goal was it always is to provide an impartial public space where individuals can enjoy and exercise their rights in both, “the post says.

It goes on: “We will solve every challenge ahead and plan to welcome you all back soon. We will not let the civil discourse go under.”

Parler has transferred its domain name to Epik, which hosts the similar social media network Gab, which is also popular with far-right parties. However, Parler found it harder to find a website hosting provider.

“The statements by Amazon, Google and Apple to the press about the blocking of our access have meant that most of our other providers have also stopped supporting us,” said Matze in an earlier statement.

In an interview with Fox News last Monday, Matze said the company may have to “go this far” to buy and build its own data centers.

It remains unclear who is hosting the Parler website now, and Parler did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Amazon-speaking lawsuit

Parler has sued Amazon for withdrawing support for the company. In a lawsuit filed in Seattle District Court on January 11, Parler accused Amazon Web Services of violating antitrust laws.

“AWS’s decision to effectively terminate Parler’s account is apparently motivated by political animations,” the lawsuit said. “It is also apparently intended to reduce competition in the market for microblogging services in favor of Twitter.”

It goes on to say, “This emergency lawsuit seeks an injunction against defendant Amazon Web Services to prevent Parler’s account from being closed. This is like pulling the plug on a hospital patient for life support. It will bring Parler’s business to a standstill at just that Time when it will soar. “

An AWS spokesman told CNBC that the claims had no value, and Twitter declined to comment.

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