Social media app Parler crawls back online on 'independent technology'

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

FILE PHOTO: A screengrab of Parler.com website and Parler CEO John Matze’s message on January 16, 2021, reading “Hello world, is this thing on?”, seen in this picture obtained on January 17, 2021 from social media. PARLER.COM WEBSITE /via REUTERS/File Photo

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

Parler went dark after being cut off by major service providers that accused the app of failing to police violent content related to the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by followers of then-U.S. President Donald Trump.

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, which had earlier banned the app.

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 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.

Last month, Amazon.com suspended Parler from its web hosting service, effectively taking the site offline. Parler, on Monday, said its new technology cut its reliance on “so-called Big Tech” for its operations.

“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.

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