Blocked by Amazon, Apple and Google, conservative social network Parler is now offline
Conservative social network Parler was down on Monday, according to an online audit tool, in the aftermath of Amazon’s decision to cut the social network’s access to its servers due to its inability to moderate messages inciting violence . According to Down For Everyone Or Just Me, Parler has been offline since midnight (0800 GMT), suggesting that its owners have not been able to find a new host as of yet.
Tech giants Amazon, Apple and Google have decided to cut ties with Donald Trump’s popular social network, Parler, threatening to kick him off the Internet just as his traffic soared. The three big companies accuse the platform of continuing to relay messages of incitement to violence after the assault on the Capitol by fans of the president on Wednesday. If Parler could not find partners willing to host its data by 08:00 GMT Monday, when Amazon ceases its services, its site could no longer function.
In the aftermath of Twitter’s decision to permanently delete Donald Trump’s account, Parler was still the most downloaded application in the United States on the Apple platform on Saturday. Launched in 2018, the social network works a bit like Twitter, with profiles to follow and “parlys” instead of tweets. Freedom of expression is its leitmotif. Based in Henderson, Nevada, Parler was started by John Matze, a computer engineer, and Rebekah Mercer, a major donor to the Republican Party. The platform attracted especially in its beginnings ultra-conservative mire, even far-right.
Many new subscribers
But it is now welcoming more traditional Republican voices. The featured presenter of Fox News Sean Hannity has 7.6 million subscribers; his colleague Tucker Carlson has 4.4 million. Republican politicians like parliamentarian Devin Nunes and South Dakota governor Kristi Noem are also present. Already in full swing, the application has welcomed in recent days many new subscribers ulcerated by Twitter’s decision to ban Donald Trump.
Other mainstream networks like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Twitch have also suspended the profile of the tenant of the White House. Many fans of the US president have flocked to conservative platforms like Parler or Gab. The success drew attention and Google decided on Friday evening to withdraw Parler from its application download platform due to the presence of messages ” inciting violence ” and an overly lax moderation policy.
Apple followed suit on Saturday night. While these decisions made life more complicated for Parler, they did not prevent it from functioning: subscribers who already have the application can still access it while newcomers can use roundabout ways to install it on their devices or go to Internet.
Dropped by his lawyers
However, Amazon’s decision directly threatens the presence of Parler online. And his boss is not very optimistic. “All our partners, those who manage the texts, emails, our lawyers, let us down on the same day”, explained John Matze in an interview on the channel Fox News Sunday. “We’re going to do everything we can to get back online as quickly as possible but all the suppliers we contact tell us that they don’t want to work with us if Apple or Google doesn’t approve”, he explained. And it’s hard to find “300 to 500 computer servers in 24 hours”.
Now that the tech giants have made it clear that they will crack down on sites and apps that continue to relay extreme messages, conservative social media are likely to have to adjust. The live video service DLive, used by several demonstrators during the invasion of the Capitol on Wednesday, has banned seven channels and removed more than 100 videos from its site. Some might choose to do as another popular ultra-conservative social network, Gab.
The platform was particularly controversial in 2018, when it was discovered that the author of a shooting which had killed 11 in a synagogue in Pittsburgh had posted many anti-Semitic messages there. Already junk at Apple and Google, Gab has set up his own servers so as not to depend on outside companies.