Controversial social network Parler announces its return online

Parler filed a complaint against Amazon for having suspended it, citing political reasons among others. — AFP

Looks like we haven’t seen the end of Parler. The social network, favoured by ultra-conservatives and conspiracy theorists in the United States, announced its imminent return, almost ten days after being dropped by Amazon, which had provided its cloud hosting service. The site, which is now accessible, simply displays a message from its co-founder John Matze that evokes freedom of expression.

”Hello world, is this thing on?” It’s with this question that John Matze got back in touch with followers on his website Parler on Jan 15. The controversial social network popular among Trump fans, which has been in the news in recent days, announced its return online a week after being dropped by its host, Amazon. A message was published and is now accessible on the site, which remains static for the moment.

Accused of having enabled the propagation of hateful content, false information and the organization of the Capitol riots on Jan 6, the site appears to want to defend itself by invoking the freedom of expression: “Now seems like the right time to remind you all – both lovers and haters – why we started this platform. We believe privacy is paramount and free speech essential, especially on social media.”

A thinly disguised attack on the social network’s rivals, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat in particular, who closed Trump’s accounts and have since been accused of censorship by supporters of the outgoing president, among others.

John Matze’s platform is obviously keen to counter this by describing itself as a “nonpartisan public square” where its users can express themselves and enjoy exercising their rights: “We will resolve any challenge before us and plan to welcome all of you back soon. We will not let civil discourse perish!” the platform promises.

According to Business Insider, the site is now hosted by Epik. Amazon had suspended access to its servers at Parler on Jan 9, following the controversy sparked by the violence in Washington DC. Several studies showed that the rioters had used this social network to organise the Capitol riots.

Google and Apple also removed the application from their platforms where apps are downloaded, although Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said the application was only suspended from their network and could be accessible again if its moderation policy is reformed. A good way not to totally close the door to this application which has been a huge success recently with Donald Trump's supporters.

The application was indeed the most downloaded on Apple in the News category in the United States in the days before its suspension, although it has been criticized for its lack of moderation on hateful and violent content and the propagation of false information. – AFP Relaxnews

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