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Beleaguered Parler is back online! (Sort of). Free speech to return?

Written By | Jan 18, 2021
beleaguered Parler, free speech

Parler homepage image, circa January 17-18.

WASHINGTON – On Sunday evening, January 17, beleaguered and now banished social networking site Parler – the massively popular conservative / libertarian alternative to Twitter – suddenly peered back into the Internet from the vast eternal darkness into which it was recently and unceremoniously exiled. The ghostly reappearance Sunday of that beleaguered Parler site seemed a bit like that venerable image of Kilroy we used to see in various unexpected places.

Engraving of Kilroy on the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C.. Image by Luis Rubio. CC 2.0 license. Via Wikipedia entry on “Kilroy was here.

Parler disappeared virtually without warning when Amazon’s extensive web-hosting operation, AWS, booted them off its servers and into the black hole of perpetual oblivion.

Parler’s alleged crime: Giving an alternative platform to the tens of thousands of individuals and entities recently booted off hyper-partisan, leftist social media platforms. Its punishment: The aforementioned banishment to the Internet’s Phantom Zone.

Phantom Zone criminals (Ursa, Zod, and Non). Art © Gary Frank and Jonathan Sibal, DC Comics. Image via Wikipedia entry on the Phantom Zone. Fair use of lo-res image cited in an analogy.


In terminating Parler’s presence completely, Amazon joined with fellow tech conglomerates Apple, Google and Twitter. These tech giants, along with Facebook, have summarily ejected into the void and without the right of appeal any conservative users, apps and websites that used their services. They don’t like conservatives. So conservatives can’t use them any more. And now they can’t use Parler either. For now, at least, Twitter doesn’t have to worry about competition.

Result? Bye-bye free speech. So long First Amendment. Bye-bye the basic rights of 50% of all Americans. Who needs them when Big Brother Tech knows what’s best for us all?

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Hello, censorship. Will the gulags be next?

Does Big Tech’s coordinated attack on Parler remind you of anything in recent history?

Apple and Google only banned Parler’s handy cellphone apps. That was bad enough. But Amazon took censorship to another level by nuking Parler’s web presence in its entirety, raising the ante in an all-out attempt to ban any communications that oppose socialism and a one-party state. To do so, apparently, is the definition of “hate speech.”

The censorious efforts of the companies involved in this travesty cascaded forth all at once. This collective action constituted a suppression of political opponents just as clearly coordinated by them as was the transparent collaboration in the suppression of “swing state” political hacks who illegally threw an Election 2020 “victory” to Joe Biden. All at roughly the same time. But, shut up. No collusion seen in either place. Move along.

Other conservative / libertarian friendly free speech sites have also been hit

Unfortunately, unlike previous victims Gab and Conservative Treehouse – and more recently, Drudge alternative Conservative Free Press – beleaguered Parler never saw its total banishment coming. The organization has been scrambling to find a way to get back online ever since their instant shutdown by AWS. By contrast, Gab and Conservative Treehouse had earlier seen the writing on the wall and were fully prepared for exile. They both resurfaced in near-record time, both on their own servers. Conservative Free Press was knocked off for a few days, again without notice. But as a newer site, they had less data to move. And their simple, Drudge-like layout presented few coding or design issues. Parler will have a tougher time fully restoring and securing it new site.

In addition to their attempt to return online, Parler’s attorneys are also suing Amazon, likely for breach of contract. We’ll see how things when the case gets in front of some hapless judge serving in this country’s largely supine and politically damaged legal system. He or she will probably find that Parler lacks standing in its own existence.

Sheryl Attkisson weighs in

Sheryl Attkisson, one of few remaining actual news reporters, also noted these recent events on her website. She tartly observed that Parler

“has been looking for a way to come back that doesn’t rely upon the monopolists who control the Internet space.”

She also noted the obvious irony of Big Tech’s continued assault on anything and anyone that doesn’t do precisely as Big Tech tells them to.

“The same people and entities (including Big Tech) that are blaming Parler for things such as inciting violence ignore the fact that the FBI found rioters – both left and right – allegedly posting and communicating on Facebook, Twitter and non-Parler platforms.”

Beleaguered Parler: It’s alive! (Kind of, sort of)

Meanwhile, after occasionally clicking on over the past few days and essentially getting *crickets* on my screen, look what popped up Monday morning.

Our headline image offers a slightly more readable version of this one-page post, which is obviously located on another company’s server(s). If you need the verbiage, here it is.

“Now seems like the right time to remind you all– both lovers and haters– why we started this platform. We believe privacy is paramount and free speech essential, especially on social media. Our aim has always been to provide a nonpartisan public square where individuals can enjoy and exercise the rights to both. We will resolve any challenges before us and plan to welcome all of you back soon. We will not let civil discourse perish!”

So it appears that Parler is stirring, even if it’s not yet alive and functional. Fingers crossed. It’s been a rough three months for anyone or anything that still believes in traditional American values.

– Headline image: Splash page announcing Parler’s attempt to return.


Terry Ponick

Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Senior Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17