Free speech Twitter alternative Parler announced Monday that it is back online more than a month after it was removed from Amazon web servers, and that it is now serviced by private companies independent of Big Tech.
“When Parler was taken offline in January by those who desire to silence tens of millions of Americans, our team came together, determined to keep our promise to our highly engaged community that we would return stronger than ever,” Interim Parler CEO Mark Meckler said in the announcement.
Not only was Parler removed by Amazon, Apple and Google also removed the app from their app stores to stop new users from downloading it. The companies claimed that extremists were using the site to plan and foment violence after the Capitol riot on January 6.
The Verge reported that the platform, which has 20 million users, transferred its domain registration to Epik, a company known for supporting deplatformed sites on the right, in January.
“We will thrive”
“Parler is being run by an experienced team and is here to stay. We will thrive as the premier social media platform dedicated to free speech, privacy and civil dialogue,” Meckler said.
While Parler is open to all political and other viewpoints, it has mainly drawn voices on the right so far.
Existing users of the platform will be able to access it this week, and new users will be allowed to sign up next week.
According to The Verge, old user posts and data does not appear to be available on the site, although existing user profiles are still there. Some users like Sean Hannity are already posting new content on the site.
A respite from censorship
Users have clamored for the platform to return in the wake of mass censorship of conservatives on Twitter, including a permanent ban on former President Donald Trump.
More than 70,000 Twitter accounts were removed from the site in a crackdown on QAnon dissemination after Trump’s account was banned.
While many conservative voices remain on Twitter and other Big Tech platforms, there have been a growing number that seek a platform where they will not be censored for politically incorrect views like questioning 2020 election results.
Recently, sources have said that Trump may be interested in starting his own social media platform now that he is out of office.