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Parler's website shows signs of life with a brief message to 'lovers and haters'

Parler's website suddenly reappeared online Sunday afternoon with a message from its CEO, John Matze: "Hello world, is this thing on?"The message, dat...

Posted: Jan 17, 2021 1:40 PM
Updated: Jan 18, 2021 8:15 AM

Parler's website suddenly reappeared online Sunday afternoon with a message from its CEO, John Matze: 'Hello world, is this thing on?'

The message, dated January 16, implies that the social network popular with members of the far right has found a new online hosting platform, after Parler was booted from Amazon Web Services on January 10 in the wake of the Capitol siege.

Parler's domain is now registered with Epik, according to a WHOIS search. Epik is a company that sells domain names and is also the domain registrar for Gab, an alternative social network often used by members of the far-right. It remains unclear who is Parler's web host; Parler didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Robert Davis, a spokesman for Epik, said the company does not provide Parler's web hosting.

Epik, he said, has a zero-tolerance approach to fighting racism, 'and actively denounces any activities utilized to create hardship for others based on skin color, ethnicity, origin, or belief system.'

Davis also referred CNN to a Jan. 14 blog post that confirmed Parler had approached Epik about registering its domain on Jan. 11. Earlier that same day, Epik had issued a lengthy statement blasting what it said was a 'kneejerk reaction' by major companies of 'simply deplatforming and terminating any relationship that on the surface looks problematic or controversial.'

A temporary status update on parler.com also appeared beneath Matze's message.

'Now seems like the right time to remind you all — both lovers and haters — why we started this platform,' the status update said. '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. We will resolve any challenge before us and plan to welcome all of you back soon. We will not let civil discourse perish!'

Parler was ejected from AWS last week following what Amazon has described as dozens of threats of violence that violated Amazon's terms of service. Parler responded with a lawsuit against Amazon, asking a federal court to block Amazon's decision.

- Correction: A previous version of this article misidentified Epik's business relationship with Parler and other websites. Parler's domain is registered with Epik.

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