Parler went back online, at least partially, on Monday night with help from a Russian technology firm called DDos-Guard.
As of Tuesday, the social media site popular with right-wingers and supporters of Donald Trump managed to relaunch a static website with four posts, or Parleys in the site’s vernacular, on desktop devices. The site still does not function on mobile phones — and remains off of popular app stores from Apple and Google — which removed the app shortly after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
“Our return is inevitable due to hard work, and persistence against all odds,” Parler CEO John Matze said in a statement on the website. “Despite the threats and harassment not one Parler employee has quit. We are becoming closer and stronger as a team.”
In an interview Sunday night with Fox News, Matze predicted a full return for the app: “I’m confident that by the end of the month, we’ll be back up.”
But many are raising questions about Parler’s decision to use Russia-owned web servers for the site — both because of potential security risks as well as the optics of a foreign connection for a platform marketed to self-described American patriots.
DDos-Guard and its parent company, Cognitive Cloud LP is “controlled by two Russian men and provides services including protection from distributed denial of service attacks,” according to Reuters, which reported that the company has supported Kremlin-controlled sites and “worked with other racist, rightist and conspiracy sites that have been used by mass murderers to share messages, including 8kun.”
Last week, Parler sued Amazon over its decision to deplatform the site, which has been offline to its 12 million users since Jan. 11. Amazon and other tech firms said the app’s moderation policies were too lenient and that some users had used the app to plan the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.