Conservative-friendly social media platforms are on the rise, as traditional ones likes Twitter and Facebook crack down on misleading or false posts.
Nearly a week after Parler went dark and days after CEO John Matze said he was unsure whether the social media app favored by conservatives would ever return, he said the platform could be back in late January.
“I’m confident that by the end of the month, we’ll be back up,” Matze told Fox News Sunday. “We’re making significant progress. When you go into Parler.com it doesn’t go into the void now, it hits a server, and it returns just one piece of information.”
Over the weekend, Parler.com reappeared with a brief message from Matze dated Saturday that said “Hello world, is this thing on?” The website also notes “technical difficulties.”
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“We believe privacy is paramount and free speech essential, especially on social media. Our aim has always been to provide a nonpartisan public square where individuals can enjoy and exercise their rights to both,” the Parler message said. “We will resolve any challenge before us and plan to welcome all of you back soon. We will not let civil discourse perish!”
Social media companies, including Facebook and Twitter, suspended thousands of accounts linked to the Capitol riots on Jan. 6. President Donald Trump has been permanently banned from Twitter and has been blocked from posting to Facebook and Instagram at least through the end of his term.
The far right-friendly platform went offline 11:59 p.m. PST on Jan. 10 and then filed a lawsuit against Amazon on Jan. 11. This followed Google and Apple removing the Parler apps from their app stores.
Parler argues in its lawsuit that Amazon violated antitrust laws to harm Parler and help Twitter. It also alleged Amazon breached its contract by not giving 30 days’ notice before terminating Parler’s account.
The social network, launched in 2018, became popular among conservatives and an unmoderated home to more extreme views in 2020 when Facebook and Twitter tightened up their content moderation and labeling.
Amazon is defending its decision to boot Parler saying in a court filing that it notified the platform repeatedly its content violated their agreement. Before taking it offline, Amazon sent Parler a letter that mentions 98 examples of Parler posts that “clearly encourage and incite violence.” (See some of the graphic examples here.)
The Seattle-based company is asking a federal judge to deny a request to reinstate the cloud-service account for Parler and says Parler shrugged off policing violence content on its site before and after the insurrection at the Capitol.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview with Fox News Sunday that it’s possible Parler could return to its App Store.
“If they get their moderation together, they would be back on there,” Cook said.
Contributing: Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
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