Social Media

Parler App Back Online After a Month-Long Gap

The controversial social-media app Parler has come back online after more than a month. The Twitter-like app Parler has been a favorite of the supporters of former US President Donald Trump and right-wing conservatives.

On 6 January a mob broke into the US Capitol Building, and after that, the app was banned from Google and Apple’s app stores and Amazon’s web-hosting service.

However, the self-styled free-speech platform said that it is here to stay. Though, the app is not available for all users immediately. Many users even reported their posts from the previous version had vanished from their profiles.

While users who already have the app downloaded can log in, it is difficult to install it onto phones that did not have it before.

Android users will need to sideload the software, meaning it has to be sourced and installed without using Google’s Play Store. And iPhone users trying to reinstall the app or download it for the first time from Apple’s App Store are told it is not currently available.

Google and Apple banned the app for not removing posts they felt had incited violence. And Amazon pulled its web-hosting service for similar reasons.

Parler even said that the aim of the company was to initially bring the service back online for existing users first, with new users able to sign up in a week’s time and that now it was built on sustainable, independent technology.

During the gap in its service, the company even sacked its vocal chief executive John Matze, replacing him with interim chief Mark Meckler. Meckler said, “We at Parler will thrive as the premier social-media platform. The app will be dedicated to free speech, civil dialogue, and privacy.”

Late last year, as Twitter banned some Trump supporters and then President Trump himself, Parler soared up on the app charts until it was stopped in its tracks.

Now it is back but in a limited form. It is still unavailable on the app stores and with no means for new users to sign up.

While Trump has over 5 million followers on Twitter, on Parler he is yelling into an empty space where a few like-minded people nod quietly in agreement.

There’s probably only one person who will likely be able to give Parler its mojo back and he is Donald J Trump. The app’s popularity was likely fuelled by the supporters of former President Trump, who often claimed censorship by the largest online platforms.

The former President Trump had allegedly been offered a stake in the company. But he never joined Parler while he was in power and does not appear to be even joining the re-launch version.

The main selling point of the app had been light-touch moderation, which it said was to encourage free speech.

Moreover, the decision of other technology companies to cut ties with Parler had been taken by those who desire to silence tens of millions of Americans.

Before the app was pulled offline hackers said that they had managed to access an archive of posts and downloads and about more than one million videos and images, some even from the 6 January riots.

Carolyn Maloney, the House oversight committee Chairperson, has asked FBI to investigate the role of Parler in the violence at the Capitol.

 

 

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