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Parler relaunch announced; Henderson-based company offline in January


Henderson-based social media platform Parler announced its relaunch Monday morning after more than a month offline.

“Parler was built to offer a social media platform that protects free speech and values privacy and civil discourse,” Mark Meckler, Parler’s interim CEO, said in a statement announcing the return of the service. “When Parler was taken offline in January by those who desire to silence tens of millions of Americans, our team came together, determined to keep our promise to our highly engaged community that we would return stronger than ever.

“We’re thrilled to welcome everyone back. 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.”

Parler was founded in 2018 as a conservative alternative to Twitter.

According to the announcement, the platform will be available only to existing users in the first week of its relaunch. New users will be able to sign up starting next week.

The platform, known for its conservative and sometimes far-right user base, was taken down by Amazon’s web-hosting services in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by right-wing extremists.

Amazon reportedly informed Parler via a letter before its removal that it had found nearly 100 examples of posts that “clearly encourage and incite violence” and stated that the platform “poses a very real risk to public safety.”

The tech giant’s move came after Google pulled Parler from its app store for allowing posts that sought “to incite ongoing violence in the U.S.”

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Apple removed Parler from its app store a day after Google pulled the plug on the platform, after giving the company 24 hours to address complaints that the platform was being used to “plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities.” Apple said the public safety issues would need to be resolved before it restored the app.

On its website, Parler said it was unaware of any evidence the platform was used to plan for the “despicable” riot at the Capitol.

The company said every social media platform sometimes unknowingly hosts content that incites violence, but this type of content appears less on Parler than other platforms.

Parler developed an artificial intelligence system to root out dangerous or inappropriate content, the company said.

In the Jan. 21 post, Parler said it was working to get back online as a platform that does not unnecessarily censor content while also being more protective of public safety.

After going dark, Parler sued Amazon. A judge rejected Parler’s request to have Amazon restore its web services.

The website returned online — though inaccessible to users — on Jan. 17 with a message from then-CEO John Matze: “Hello world, is this thing on?” Below that, a message notified visitors of technical difficulties.

The social media platform is now getting cloud infrastructure and support services from SkySilk, the cloud services provider said in a statement on Twitter.

Parler reportedly fired Matze this month.

Contact Blake Apgar at bapgar@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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