The silence lasted a month and now Parler has made noise again. The controversial social network, which has served as a haven for far-right sympathizers, advocates of conspiracy theories, and members of various white supremacist groups, was removed from the Google and Apple app store just days after the assault on the Capitol on January 6 and its storage service was shut down by Amazon for allowing the creation and publication of messages that incited violence and hate speech. Until today. The social network has reached an agreement with SkySilk, a web infrastructure company based outside of Los Angeles, to host Parler, the company has confirmed to the American media.
“SkySilk is well aware that Parler has received an aggressive response from those who believe that its platform has been used as a safe haven for some bad actors,” explained the CEO of the company, Kevin Matossian. it’s a statement spread by NPR. “Let me be clear, Skysilk does not defend or condone hatred, but rather defends the right to private trial and rejects the role of judge, jury and executioner.” So far, the company has not given more details of the deal it has made with the social network or the type of storage it provides.
Although Parler seems to have revived, the awakening has been slow and weak. The website works on a regular basis for users who access it by computer. Also, the site is not accepting new users yet. On mobile phones, the situation is worse: the Parler application does not seem to work at all and it is also not available in the application stores.
Matze’s roller coaster
The social network of a month ago is very different from now. Starting with the dome. Just a few weeks ago, Parler’s board fired its then CEO, John Matze, after a fight with conservative donor Rebekah Mercer, who controls the board, after a discussion “about the future of free speech” at the social network, according to statements by the young director to The New York Times. Matze has been replaced by Mark Meckler, 2009 co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots —A known far-right group flagged for allegedly helping organize the January 6 rally which preceded the attack on the United States Capitol.
Furthermore, Parler remains in a difficult position. His return does not mean that Apple and Google have restored his application in their stores. The company still struggles in the style of David and Goliath for an ongoing lawsuit against the giant Amazon; a process that according to some experts consulted for EL PAÍS does not look good for the small social network.
For his part, Jeffrey Wernick, director of operations of the company, explained to the newspaper The New York Times that DDoS-Guard only allowed “a temporary web page for Parler” and that Parler “would try to find other companies to operate his entire social network, preferably an American firm.” And they have shown it today with SkySilk.
Meanwhile, the debate around censorship and silenced profiles in traditional networks —Like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, and YouTube— still stands. In addition, the strategies of these companies to create a healthier atmosphere, free from fake news, violence and hatred are increasingly questioned by new alternative networks that sail under the flag of the freedom of expression and companies that support them, such as SkySilk. “Once again, it is not about SkySilk endorsing the message, but rather the right of the courier to deliver it,” the company defends in a statement.