Parler May Never Get Back Online, Admits CEO of Pro-Trump Social App

The CEO of Parler, which claimed it had more than 12 million users before it was cut off by Amazon, Apple and Google last week, said the social network popular among Trump sympathizers might not be able to find a new home on the internet.

Asked in an interview with Reuters when Parler might be able get back online, CEO John Matze said, “It could be never. We don’t know yet.”

Amazon’s AWS division pulled its service contract with Parler, which boasts of taking a hands-off policy to content moderation, on Sunday. In taking the action, Amazon cited nearly 100 examples of violent threats on Parler, which it said the social app had failed to remove. The move came in the wake of the Jan. 6 violent assault on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, a shocking attack for which the president was impeached Wednesday for the second time. Previously, Apple and Google banned Parler from their respective app stores, citing Parler’s inaction on policing violent and harmful content.

Matze told Reuters that Parler was in talks with other hosting services but he declined to name them, “citing the likelihood of harassment for the companies involved,” per the report. Parler’s domain name was transferred to Epik, a registrar favored by far-right groups that hosts and the domain name for the Proud Boy’s former websites, Mashable reported.

Parler sued Amazon on Monday, alleging breach of contract and violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act for supposedly colluding with Twitter in getting the app shut down. Amazon said the lawsuit had no merit and filed documents showing that it warned Parler in late 2020 about violent hate speech on the app.

In addition to getting kicked off Apple and Google’s app stores and cut off by AWS, Parler has been banished by online-payment provider Stripe and American Express, according to Matze.

Founded in 2018, Parler boasts about its hands-off approach to moderation, in contrast to the stepped-up policing by mainstream social networks like Facebook and Twitter. The company is funded by hedge fund investor Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer.

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