Parler Comeback: How it Returns, Guide to access, New Community Guidelines
|Founded in 2018, Parler has styled itself as a ‘free speech-driven’ space and largely attracted US conservatives. Photograph: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images|
How is Parler back?
The Twitter alternative, which had become a haven for racist and right-wing extremist content, was forced offline in January when Amazon Web Services cut services to it. It wasn't immediately clear who is hosting the relaunched site, according to Cnet.
Parler said in a statement the new site is built on "sustainable, independent technology and not reliant on so-called "Big Tech" for its operations."
The company, which has been without a CEO for two weeks, is now being lead on an interim basis by Mark Meckler, who had been part of the "executive committee" running the company after former CEO John Matze was fired by the board in January.
Cloud hosting company SkySilk is now hosting Parler, according to NPR. The Los Angeles-based company didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Verge reported that Parler transferred its domain registration in January to Epik, which calls itself "the Swiss bank of the domain industry”. As per an NPR report, the company is run by Rob Monster, supports the conspiracy theory website InfoWars, the largely-unregulated YouTube alternative called BitChute, the gun forum AR15.com, and a site for Trump supporters called Patriots.win, previously known as The Donald.
Epik also has been linked to the Neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer. In 2019, Epik purchased the cybersecurity company BitMitigate, which had been providing service to the Daily Stormer. Monster said that when Epik realized this, the company ended its relationship with the site. "It's regrettable," Monster said. "The greatest cost of acquiring BitMitigate was not the amount of cash that we paid to buy the technology, but the entanglement."
However, a new NPR report says SkySilk, a Web infrastructure company based outside of Los Angeles, is now hosting Parler. SkySilk's chief executive, Kevin Matossian, told NPR: "SkySilk is well aware that Parler has received an aggressive response from those who believe their platform has been used as a safe haven for some bad actors."
Matossian further said, "Let me be clear, Skysilk does not advocate nor condone hate, rather, it advocates the right to private judgment and rejects the role of being the judge, jury, and executioner," adding that while the company may disagree with some of Parler's content, he believes the company is taking "necessary steps" to monitor its platform. "Once again, this is not a matter of SkySilk endorsing the message, but rather, the right of the messenger to deliver it. SkySilk will support Parler in their efforts to be a nonpartisan Public Square as we are convinced this is the only appropriate course of action.”
Why Parler disappear from the Internet?
Parler was booted offline in mid-January after Amazon Web Services cut its services, a move that followed decisions by Apple and Google to stop distributing the social network's mobile apps. Amazon said it took the action because Parler wasn't moderating posts from users advocating violence.
How to access Parler?
The site remains unavailable on the Apple Store and Google Play Store, where its mobile app was banned after the riot.
While several users took to rival Twitter to complain they were unable to access the service, a few others said they could access their existing account.
Parler, which asserted it once had over 20 million users, said it would bring its current users back online in the first week and would be open to new users the next week.
Founded in 2018, the app has styled itself as a “free speech-driven” space and largely attracted US conservatives who disagree with rules around content on other social media sites.
Although Parler would undoubtedly prefer its apps to be available on iPhone and Android, the company’s statement on no longer being reliant on “Big Tech” could be an indication it doesn’t actually plan to make the service available again through official apps. If that is the case, or unless Apple and Google decide to reinstate the apps, it is likely that the only way to access Parler on an iPhone or Android phone will be through the mobile version of the website.
Parler's New Community Guidelines
On the overview introduction on its website, Parler describes it as “viewpoint-neutral”.
“ Our Guidelines govern your relationship with Parler, your use of Parler, as well as your access to our services and products. By accessing Parler, you agree to these terms. These Guidelines are designed to enable productive, polite discourse among people with differing interests, life experiences, and viewpoints.
Our goal is to provide all community members with a welcoming, nonpartisan Public Square. While the First Amendment does not apply to private companies such as Parler, our mission is to create a social platform in the spirit of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. We prefer that removing users or user-provided content be kept to the absolute minimum.
We prefer to leave decisions about what is seen and who is heard to each individual. In no case will Parler decide what will content be removed or filtered, or whose account will be removed, on the basis of the opinion expressed within the content at issue. Parler’s policies are, to use a well-known concept in First Amendment law, viewpoint-neutral.
We do not curate your feed; we do not pretend to be qualified to do so. We believe only you are qualified to curate your feed, and so we give you the tools you need to do it yourself. To that end, Parler offers a number of features—including the ability to mute or block other users, or to mute or block all comments containing terms of your choice—and we encourage you to use these tools whenever the content you would rather not encounter here, is not otherwise addressed by what follows. At Parler, we’re committed to continuous improvement toward fulfilling our mission. Accordingly, these Guidelines are subject to modification, unilaterally by Parler, at any time.” The website wrote.
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