Parler Struggles to Come Back Online After Reboot is Foiled by Technical Difficulties

Parler Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

Parler Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

Technical issues marred Parler’s attempt to open for business on Monday more than a month after the site was first shut down.

“Now seems like the right time to remind you all — both lovers and haters — why we started this platform,” the site said in a message posted at the top of its home page Monday afternoon. “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 their rights to both.”

The site had said in an earlier statement that it intended to return on Monday. The delay in coming back online was referenced in only two words, “Technical Difficulties,” that appeared in bold lettering above the message.

Amazon’s web hosting division dropped Parler in January over claims that it failed to do enough to moderate user content, shortly after Apple and Google removed Parler from their App stores over the same issue. The company said later in the month it would transfer its domain registration to Epik, another web hosting provider, making it possible for its website to come back online.

Former Parler CEO John Matze, who founded Parler in 2018, claimed this month that he advocated for moderation policies responsive to those concerns, but that the company’s board, led by billionaire investor Rebekah Mercer, responded by firing him.

“Parler is being run by an experienced team and is here to stay,” interim Parler CEO Mark Meckler said in a statement that preceded the latest technical difficulties. “We will thrive as the premier social media platform dedicated to free speech, privacy and civil dialogue.”

The statement also served as the first announcement that Meckler, who holds ties to the Mercer family, had been appointed as the company’s chief executive. A long-time conservative activist, Meckler co-founded the nonprofit Citizens for Self-Governance in 2014 with $500,000 in aid from the billionaire Mercer family. He co-founded the Tea Party Patriots in 2009 and served as a leader of that group until his resignation in 2014.

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