Parler Is Back Online With New Redesign and User Guidelines
The site came back online Monday with an apparent redesigned website and logo after it was suspended by Amazon Web Services, according to a report.
Parler, the controversial social media app used by some Trump supporters and right-wing conservatives that went dark after its hosting services were pulled, is now back online, according to reports.
Parler came back online Monday with an apparent redesigned website and logo more than a month after Amazon Web Services announced it would no longer host the site. The tech giant said that Parler “had violated its terms of service given its inadequate content-moderation practices,” The Washington Post reported. Parler denied Amazon’s claims. Their announcement came after allegations were made that US Capitol rioters had exalted the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol in posts on Parler.
By Jan. 11 the site was dropped after AWS deemed it a risk, Buzzfeed News first reported. Apple and Google were the first to remove the website from their servers for allegedly continuing to allow violent content to be posted, a spokesperson told Business Insider.
Parler had emerged as a haven for pro-Trump supporters and conservative users who fled more mainstream sites that crack down on harmful, viral falsehoods, according to The Washington Post.
During the month-long gap, visitors who would visit Parler.com would be welcomed by a generic static message. Since the site went back up, community guidelines on the site note that the company “will not knowingly allow itself to be used as a tool for crime, civil torts, or other unlawful acts.”
The guidelines also state that “in no case will Parler decide what [content will] be removed or filtered, or whose account will be removed, on the basis of the opinion expressed within the content at issue,” CNN reported.
On Feb. 8, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, demanded in a letter documentation on Parler’s financing and any ties to foreign entities be disclosed by Feb. 22.
“Since the attacks, numerous Parler users have been arrested and charged for their roles, with the Department of Justice citing in several instances the threats that individuals made through Parler in the days leading up to and following the attack,” Maloney wrote to Parler CEO Jeffrey Wernick. “Individuals with ties to the January 6 assault should not—and must not—be allowed to hide behind the veil of anonymity provided by shell companies.”
A recent analysis by USA Today showed a strong connection between President Trump’s speech at the Jan. 6 rally and a significant uptick in calls for violence on Parler.
Parler is now directing traffic to an IP address linked to SkySilk, a California-based cloud service provider. SkySilk said to CNN it believes Parler is “taking the necessary steps to better monitor its platform.”
After initially going dark, Parler resurfaced for a short period of time, registering under a new domain reportedly hosted by tech company Epik, Inside Edition Digital previously reported. The site temporarily emerged with a message reading, "Hello, world. Is this thing on?"
In a statement from Epik signed on Jan. 11, it denied any contact or discussions with Parler.
"We have had no contact or discussions with Parler in any form regarding our organization becoming their registrar or hosting provider," Epik wrote in a statement. "From our understanding, Parler was working on satisfying the requested terms placed upon them by various elements of their supply chain, and to date, no communication has been received by them for discussion of future service provision."
Robert Davis, Epik's senior vice president, told The New York Times that the company only assisted in helping register Parler's domain name. Davis told the outlet that the company would be willing to help Parler, but "their needs are too large."
Parler was reportedly using a company DDoS-guard, headquartered in Russia, to shield itself from new cyberattacks, CNN reported. DDoS attacks take place when a "malicious actor seeks to overwhelm a website," the outlet reported.
The company responded to CNN's request for comment, confirming they are based in Russia, but declined to comment on the services it may have provided to Parler. It also denied it is hosting Parler's website.
"We do not provide hosting services to Parler.com," the company said in a statement to CNN. "Any customer can access and use our services as long as his/her activities are not prohibited in the country and do not violate any laws. ... We do not want to be involved in the political scene in any countries around the world."
Researchers expressed certain concerns over any Russia-based company hosting Parler, claiming that Russian law could allow the government to surveil the users, the Times reported in January.
Parler's chief operating officer, Jeffrey Wernick, told the outlet at the time that concerns were "overblown" since DDoS-Guard was only a temporary webpage for the site. Wernick added that their preference is to have an "American firm," the outlet reported.
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