Parler is back online, but its future is anything but certain

After a month of down time, the alt social network has found a new home.

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It’s been more than a month since Amazon kicked Parler off the internet, but the “free speech” social network has made its way back online. The company sent out a press release Monday that its new services are built on “sustainable, independent technology” that is “not so reliant on so-called ‘Big Tech’ for its operations.”

Parler isn’t fully operational just yet, though. The company says its platform is currently only open for users with existing Parler accounts, with new user signups opening up again sometime next week. Still, that’s much more online than the site was in mid-January when the company first announced its inevitable return.

In its press release, Parler also announced Mark Meckler as the company’s new interim CEO. Meckler is best-known for being one of the primary founders of the Tea Party Patriots, a right-wing group listed as one of the groups that organized the “March to Save America” that led to the January 6 storming of the Capitol. The group also hosted last year’s event in which supposed doctors touted hydroxychloroquine as a “cure” for COVID-19.

Already in full swing — The delay on allowing new user signups hasn’t stopped Parler from opening back up with guns a-blazing. Many of the platform’s loudest voices, including Fox News host Sean Hannity, have already begun posting again. Hannity and others have also taken to more mainstream social media like Twitter to re-up their support for Parler.

Parler is now hosted by SkySilk Cloud Services, which confirmed the move in a statement from the company’s CEO, Kevin Matossian.

“Let me be clear, Skysilk does not advocate nor condone hate,” Matossian writes. “rather it advocates the right to private judgement [sic] and rejects the role of being the judge, jury, and executioner. Unfortunately, too many of our fellow technology providers seem to differ in their position on this subject.”

Based on this statement, it seems SkySilk is either willfully ignorant of the plethora of hate on Parler — or the company truly misunderstands the purpose of moderation.

Will it survive? — Parler is online, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to thrive. Neither Apple nor Google have allowed the platform’s mobile app back on their respective web stores, the company is also being investigated by the House Oversight Committee for its role in the Capitol riots, and so far its lawsuit against Amazon has gone nowhere fast.

But then again: hate has a way of finding a home on the internet, despite our best efforts to weed it out. Who knows, Parler might even try to get Trump on board again.