Parler goes offline after Amazon pulls plug on web services

World Monday 11/January/2021 16:24 PM
By: DW
Parler goes offline after Amazon pulls plug on web services

Conservative US social network platform Parler was forced offline Monday, tracking websites showed and its CEO said.

It comes just after tech giant Amazon told Parler it would lose access to its servers for its failure to properly police violent content.

Tracking website Down For Everyone Or Just Me showed Parler offline from just after midnight, suggesting its owners had not been able to find a new hosting partner, after Amazon said it would suspend service.

Multiple US news outlets shared a post from Parler CEO John Matze, telling users on the platform that "we will likely be down longer than expected." He had previously predicted an outage lasting roughly one week.

In a series of posts on Parler several hours earlier, before the site went down, Matze accused the tech giants of a "war on free speech."

"They will NOT win! We are the world's last hope for free speech and free information," he said.

Parler was launched in 2018, as a counter to Twitter, giving users the ability to follow profiles and to write "parleys" instead of tweets.

Early on, the platform attracted a crowd of ultra-conservative and even extreme-right users, but more recently it has seen a migration of more traditional voices affiliated with the Republican party.

Parler accused of inciting violence in US

Parler boasts more than 12 million users, though mobile app analytics firm Sensor Tower puts the number at 10 million worldwide, with 8 million in the US.

But the app saw a surge of messages supporting last week's mob attack on the US Capitol in Washington DC, along with calls for new demonstrations.

Google pulled the Parler smartphone app from its app store on Friday, saying it had allowed postings that seek "to incite ongoing violence in the US," with Apple following suit the next day after giving Parler a 24-hour deadline to act on its complaints.