The controversial social media website Parler appears to be back online with a Russian technology company’s help.
CEO John Matze believes that Parler will be fully back up and running by the end of the month, according to Business Insider. On Monday, the website appeared to be back online, with a message from Matze.
“Hello, world. Is this thing on?” the message read.
Reuters reports that the internet protocol address the site used is owned by DDoS-Guard, which is controlled by two Russian men. DDoS-Guard provides services, including protection from distributed denial of service attacks, infrastructure expert Ronald Guilmette told Reuters.
DDoS-Guard has worked with other racists, right-wing, and conspiracy sites in the past, such as 8kun. It has also supported Russian government sites.
The website saw an influx of users once Donald Trump’s Twitter account was removed. New users flooded the platform right before the app was pulled from app stores, and the site went dark. Parler touts itself as a place where there aren’t any rules and content are not closely moderated, a haven for free speech.
“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 their rights to both,” a message on the site reads. “We will resolve any challenge before us and plan to welcome all of you back soon. We will not let civil discourse perish!”
Amazon, Google, and Apple banned Parler earlier this month over its failure to moderate content and threats of violence by some of its right-wing users. Some of the Pro-Trump protesters who laid siege to the US Capitol on January 6 over false allegations of widespread voter fraud had been using the app to plan the event and spread misinformation.