Parler, the conservative social media platform that went dark last month, said it’s back in business — or will be soon — with a new interim CEO, former Tea Party activist Mark Meckler, according to contradictory press reports.
The previous CEO, Jim Matze, was fired January 29 by the site that he founded with backing from Republican donor and majority owner Rebekah Mercer. He’d been trying to find a new host after Amazon Web Services kicked Parler off its platform following the attack on the U.S. Capitol and citing violent posts that violated the AWS terms of service.
Parler sued, asked for injunctive relief that a judge denied after a strong statement by Amazon detailing the backlog of violent and inappropriate posts that the site seemed unable or unwilling to stem. Parler said today its new platform is built on “sustainable, independent technology,” according to a statement cited by some reports, that also indicated it will be available to existing users sometime this week and that new users will be able to sign up starting next week.
Apple and Google had also removed Parler from their app stores. Meckler told one outlet that the site initially would be available only on desktop. A web infrastructure company called SkySilk outside of Los Angeles is now said to be hosting Parler.
Some reports Monday said that typing “parler.com” into a web browser returned a page to log into the social network — but at mid-afternoon, at least, that was not the case. The same interface from previous weeks displays from when the service went dark, appears, citing technical difficulties and the same reminder to “both lovers and haters — why we started this platform. “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!”
Apparently at some point today there was a login page available on a redesigned home page. But users trying to access the site appeared mostly stymied.
The service had amassed about 15 million users including a stream of new signups after the election that former President Donald Trump falsely claimed had been stolen and a surge after Trump himself was banned from social media in the days after the attack on the Capitol. Trump Saturday was acquitted by the Senate after having been impeached for inciting the insurrection.
Parler, which is based in Henderson, NV, didn’t immediately respond to a call requesting comment, nor did Meckler via LinkedIn or through a call and email to Convention of States, the grassroots conservative group where he is president.