Accessibility links

Breaking News

Parler, Controversial Social Media Service, Comes Back Online

FILE - The Parler logo is displayed on a smartphone with its website in the background, July 1, 2020.

Parler, a social media service popular with American right-wing users that virtually vanished shortly after the U.S. Capitol riot, relaunched on Monday and said its new platform was built on “sustainable, independent technology.”

Known as an alternative to Twitter, Parler has struggled after Amazon stripped it of its web-hosting services on January 11 over Parler’s refusal to remove posts inciting violence. Citing the same reason, Google and Apple also removed the Parler app from their stores.

In a statement announcing the relaunch, Parler said it had appointed Mark Meckler as its interim chief executive, replacing John Matze who was fired by the board this month.

Despite the relaunch, the website was still not opening for many users and the app was not available for download on mobile stores run by Apple and Alphabet-owned Google.

While several users took to rival Twitter to complain they were unable to access the service, a few others said they could access their existing account.

Parler, which asserted it once had over 20 million users, said it would bring its current users back online in the first week and would be open to new users in the next week.

Founded in 2018, the app has styled itself as a “free speech-driven” space and largely attracted U.S. conservatives who disagree with rules around content on other social media sites.

On Monday, Parler said its new technology cut its reliance on “so-called Big Tech” for its operations.

It’s unclear what company was hosting Parler.

“Parler is being run by an experienced team and is here to stay,” said Meckler, who had co-founded the Tea Party Patriots, a group that emerged in 2009 within the fiscally conservative Tea Party movement and helped elect dozens of Republicans.

It is also backed by hedge fund investor Robert Mercer, his daughter Rebekah Mercer and conservative commentator Dan Bongino.