"It could be never", says Parler CEO John Matze
Social media platform Parler CEO John Matze said that Parler, which has gone dark after being cut off by major service providers that accused the app of failing to police violent content, may never get back online. As a procession of business vendors severed ties with the two-year-old site following the storming of the US Capitol last week, Matze said in an interview that he does not know when or if it will return.
“It could be never,” he said. “We don’t know yet.” After this story was published, Matze added: “I am an optimist. It may take days, it may take weeks but Parler will return and when we do we will be stronger.”
Matze further said that Parler was talking to more than one cloud computing service but refused to disclose names, citing the likelihood of harassment for the companies involved. He said the best thing would be if Parler could get back on Amazon.com Inc.
Parler, which claims it had over 12 million users, on Monday filed a lawsuit against Amazon’s cloud computing division.
Amazon cut off the social media platform, which styles itself as a “free-speech” space and is favoured by supporters of US President Donald Trump, from its servers this weekend for failing to effectively moderate violent content.
Late as this summer, Amazon invited Parler to join an initiative to connect it with potential investors, Matze said, which was independently confirmed by a source who characterized the offer as standard for startup customers.
Amazon later ended the program and did not secure funding for Parler, the source said. Matze said the company did not need more funding at the time.
By November, however, Amazon had received reports that Parler hosted threatening content in what it says breached the companies’ agreement, according to an Amazon legal filing.
Amazon flagged over 100 examples to a Parler executive, such as content exhorting people to “Form MILITIAS now and acquire targets,” the filing said.
In another court filing Wednesday, Parler said that Amazon had not provided proof that the platform was used to incite and organize the Jan. 6 US Capitol siege. It called Amazon’s termination of its services “catastrophic.”
Disinformation researchers have said far-right groups that appeared at the riot maintained a vigorous online presence on alternative platforms including Parler, where they spread violent rhetoric ahead of the unrest.
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