- Amazon will kick Parler out of its web servers, leaving the controversial social network to fight for a new web host.
- Technical giants, including Apple, Google and Amazon, recently gave way to Parler, an app that appealed mainly to far-right conservatives with limited content moderation.
- Parler CEO John Matze said the site may be down for up to a week because we are “rebuilding from scratch”.
- “It’s probably not the end of Parler,” a disinformation expert told Insider. “They just need to find another server space.”
- Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.
Parler will be launched from Amazon̵
Technology giants, including Amazon, Apple and Google, have taken a number of actions against Parler since the US Capitol uprising by a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump. Although the action is likely to lead to a decline in Parler’s popularity, experts said the app is not necessarily dead in the long run.
“It is realistic to expect Parler to find another provider to host their services, such as AWS,” said Max Aliapoulios, a PhD in computer science at New York University, focused on understanding and mitigating socio-technical issues such as cybercrime and online. extremism. Insider in email.
Read more: Amazon removes Parler from its web hosting service
For example, the 8kun bulletin board and the Gab social media platform used Epik as a new host, Aliapoulios noted.
“That being said, a precedent has been set and Parler will probably always have a hard time finding a home to host them,” he added.
Kathleen Carly, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University who studies disinformation, also agreed that it may not be the end of the network, but the solution is likely to target applications such as Parler to the dark network and encrypted systems.
“It’s probably not the end of Parler,” Carly wrote in an email to Insider. “They just need to find another server space.”
Parler grew to prominence by cultivating far-right audiences
In the last few months, Parler has attracted far-right conservative audiences by presenting itself as a social network with minimal content moderation. The network appears to have played a crucial role as a meeting place for many of the rebels who eventually stormed the Capitol on January 6 in a rage that killed five people, including a Capitol police officer.
After Twitter banned Trump’s account on Friday, some of the most conservative figures recently announced they would switch to the Parler app and encouraged others to do the same.
Now the future is uncertain for the once hot social application. Although it may not be dead, Parler seems to be alive, as it no longer appears in Apple or Google Play app stores and has now been launched from AWS servers. Amazon said it would launch Parler at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Sunday.
Apple and Google have said the app is not doing enough moderation. Parler users called for violence during the coup attempt in Washington, according to Insider reporters Margaux MacColl and Kevin Shalvey.
Parler said it was unfairly targeted.
“It was a coordinated attack by technology giants to kill competition in the market,” Matze said in a statement. “We were too successful too quickly. You can expect the war on competition and freedom of speech to continue, but don’t count us.”
A ‘recovery from scratch’ plan can be a daunting task
Matze also said that Parler can be offline for up to a week because we are “recovering from scratch”. It is not clear what would lead to this or how reliable Parler was at AWS for cloud services and hosting. BuzzFeed News first announced Amazon’s decision to end its relationship with Parler.
“Shutting down AWS is almost unheard of; when people intentionally leave, planning takes months; implementation can take years,” wrote Corey Twin, chief cloud economist at The Duckbill Group on Twitter.
Quinn said it takes time to move all data from web servers, and other AWS offerings are not directly compatible with other servers. “Doing what you’ve built on AWS systems, working elsewhere, is a great challenge,” he added.
Switching to a new provider usually takes months or years. Quinn said Parler received about 30 hours’ notice.
The platform said there were about 4 million active users as of November.
In addition to the problems of finding a new host, Parler may also face the challenge of running a profitable business.
Read more: Terrified Pelosi employees barricaded themselves in a conference room and huddled under the table as pro-Trump riots ravaged the speaker’s office: Report
Aliapoulios noted that Parler had been planning for months to launch an influence network – “essentially just a portal for advertisers and influential people to make money,” he added.
“I think it can be difficult for them to find enough companies that want to advertise on a site full of violent extremists to offset the cost of their provider’s cloud account,” Aliapoulios said.
But in the long run, Parler may survive given its existing popularity. Aliapoulios noted that other controversial sites such as 8kun and Gab are still around. In fact, Gab said there was an increase in demand over the weekend as other social media sites crashed.