The conservative social media platform Parler — known primarily as a free-speech alternative to Twitter — is back online.
Google, Apple, and Amazon removed the Parler app from their respective marketplaces in early January, following the riot inside the U.S. Capitol, arguing participants used the platform to organize. Ultimately, Amazon’s cloud hosting service terminated its contract with the social media site, essentially removing it from the internet altogether.
Parler, which is funded largely by Republican donor and Trump supporter Rebekah Mercer, announced Monday its website is back online and will reestablish access this week to those who had accounts before it was shut down.
The development comes as Tea Party co-founder and attorney Mark Meckler has stepped in as interim CEO after Parler co-founder John Matze was fired from the position by the company’s board earlier this month.
“Parler was built to offer a social media platform that protects free speech and values privacy and civil discourse,” Meckler said in a statament Monday. “Parler is being run by an experienced team and is here to stay. We will thrive as the premier social media platform dedicated to free speech, privacy, and civil dialogue.”
In January, Parler filed a lawsuit against Amazon Web Services arguing in a legal complaint that the company violated antitrust laws and is in breach of contract because AWS failed to provide 30 days’ notice before terminating its account with Parler.
The court filing accused Amazon of making its decision solely because of “political animus,” arguing the termination of its contract with Parler was “designed to reduce competition in the microblogging services market to the benefit of Twitter.”
On the heels of Parler’s ouster from the internet, then-President Donald Trump’s Twitter account was permanently suspended — a move politicians around the world condemned.
Others, too, like an account associated with the faith-based group Focus on the Family, have been disciplined by Twitter. The handle linked to Focus on the Family’s Daily Citizen was locked after tweeting an article about President Joe Biden’s nominee for assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Biden named Dr. Rachel Levine, who is transgender, to serve in the position. The Daily Citizen posted a tweet that read, “Dr. Levine is a transgender woman, that is, a man who believes he is a woman.” The account was then locked for posting “hateful” content.