In early January 2021, Parler was the most downloaded app in the News category in the App Store. People moved to Parler en masse, knowing the free speech platform would not adopt the herd mentality of the other social media sites. Yet within days Parler had gone dark, canceled by Big Tech.
There are still many questions about what exactly happened and whether Parler is back up.
Following the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, Parler was removed from Apple’s and Google’s app stores and Amazon Web Services. The deplatforming was based on unfounded claims that the free speech social media platform had “encouraged and incited violence.” In an overt abuse of their power, the Big Tech giants unjustly scapegoated Parler. They implied, without evidence, that the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol resulted from deliberate coordination conducted on Parler.
Google acted first, removing the Parler app from its Play Store, followed by Apple. Both companies alluded that Parler did not comply with their terms of service. Amazon Web Services followed suit and yanked Parler from its cloud hosting service, leaving Parler without a web host. Amazon explained its decision by asserting that Parler did not have an effective process in place to comply with AWS’s TOS. Hindsight shows that no social media platform was to blame for the January 6th attack on the Capitol—much less Parler. In August 2021, the FBI released a report saying it had “found no evidence” of coordination on social media. And in May 2022, MSNBC reported findings that government agencies had failed to act after warnings received from both Facebook and Parler about publicly posted threats of violence on January 6, 2021.
Parler is Back Online
After the deplatforming, Parler rebuilt from the ground up, investing in infrastructure that would render it immune to the whims of Big Tech. Today, Parler is back online and committed to its founding principles of privacy and free speech.
Parler’s mobile apps are again available in the App Store and the Google Play store. To comply with the companies’ objectionable speech policies, Parler added an immovable splash screen designed to indicate where Parler has removed content from its Apple and Google apps. Content that these companies prohibit is hidden behind a curtain in the apps but is viewable via a clickable splash (based on each user’s settings) in the desktop browser version of Parler.com. Parler considers this accommodation part of an open conversation and hopes to convince Apple and Google that the solution to bad speech is not censorship – it’s more speech.
Parler remains committed to its users’ privacy. It provides transparent terms of service and community guidelines to create a welcoming and nonpartisan social media environment. As it always has, the company takes violent threats seriously and removes threats, incitement, and other unlawful content.
Parler uses a hybrid approach to enforce its guidelines, combining AI with human review performed by both Parler employees and members of our Community Jury. And it invites users to curate their own feeds with optional filters and splash screens (web version), as well as standard mute and block features (all versions). This approach makes Parler the ideal platform for freedom of thought and expression.
Social Media, The Way It’s Meant to Be
While other social media platforms routinely ban, censor, label, and suppress content to influence public opinion, Parler offers a true digital town square where all voices can be heard, and everyone is encouraged to think for themselves. And in a fitting turn, Parler’s parent company, Parlement Technologies, is creating an uncancelable ecosystem where other companies will be spared the fear of unjust deplatforming by Big Tech.