Show an ad over header. AMP

Parler shows signs of life

Far-right-friendly social network Parler is beginning to resurface after going dark last week following a series of bans by Google, Apple and Amazon.

The big picture: By getting a new internet provider that's friendly to far-right sites, Parler — home to a great deal of pro-insurrection chatter before, during and after the Capitol siege — may have found a way to survive despite Big Tech's efforts to pull the plug.

Shortly after the bans, Parler switched its domain registration to Epik, a provider that has in the past revived other digital havens of the far right, including Gab, 8chan and neo-Nazi site the Daily Stormer.

  • Observers noticed over the weekend that online records indicate that Parler is also relying on some level of infrastructure support from DDoS Guard, a Russian provider of web hosting and related services.

Driving the news: Over the weekend, Parler CEO John Matze posted to the site a message saying, "Hello world, is this thing on?"

  • Below Matze's post was a message from the company promising "to resolve any challenge before us and ... welcome all of you back soon."

Details: In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Matze said, "I’m confident that by the end of the month, we’ll be back up."

  • Matze said that despite the bans, no Parler employees have quit yet.
  • He also said that he was able to recover Parler's data from Amazon last week, and suggested he'll continue posting incremental updates about the site's status as the company rebuilds it.

Our thought bubble: The newfound reliance on a Russian firm for infrastructure supportis sure to spin up conspiracy theories that the resurrected Parler is a Kremlin front.

Reality check: That's probably not the case.

  • But there are deeply serious security concerns raised by any site relying on Russian-owned servers.
  • And Parler running to Russia to come back online would be just the latest development in a growing clash of values between Silicon Valley and authoritarian regimes that have a vested interest in keeping disinformation and destabilizing rhetoric flowing in the U.S.

Catch up quick: Google and Apple delisted Parler from their app stores after the company failed to produce a plan for moderating harmful rhetoric.

  • Amazon's AWS unit then took down the whole back end of the Parler network, citing widespread violent rhetoric and a refusal or inability on the company's part to moderate it.
  • Parler subsequently sued Amazon, alleging breach of contract and antitrust abuses.

The catch: If Parler is in fact able to come fully back online in short order, that would undermine its claims that Amazon's shutdown demonstrates harmful monopolistic practices.

  • Still, it will likely remain dark on the Google and Apple app stores, limiting its reach, although users should be able to visit Parler on the web from any device if and when it comes back.

Go deeper:

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can gather indoors without masks

People who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can take fewer precautions in certain situations, including socializing indoors without masks when in the company of low-risk or other vaccinated individuals, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Monday.

Why it matters: The report cites early evidence that suggests vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection, and are potentially less likely to transmit the virus to other people. At the time of its publication, the CDC said the guidance would apply to about 10% of Americans.

Keep reading... Show less

Ripple CEO calls for clearer crypto regulations following SEC lawsuit

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse tells "Axios on HBO" that if his company loses a lawsuit brought by the SEC, it would put the U.S. cryptocurrency industry at a competitive disadvantage.

Why it matters: Garlinghouse's comments may seem self-serving, but his call for clearer crypto rules is consistent with longstanding entreaties from other industry players.

Keep reading... Show less

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt will not seek re-election in 2022

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) will not run for re-election in 2022, he announced on Twitter Monday.

Why it matters: The 71-year-old senator is the No. 4-ranking Republican in the Senate, and the fifth GOP senator to announce he will not run for re-election in 2022 as the party faces questions about its post-Trump future.

Keep reading... Show less

COVID Tracking Project officially ends daily updates, citing improved government transparency

The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer group of data analysts, researchers, and journalists brought together by The Atlantic, published its final daily update on Monday — the one-year anniversary of its founding.

Why it matters: The project quickly became a vital resource for news media, academic researchers, and everyday Americans to track COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the absence of reliable and public data from the federal government.

Keep reading... Show less

As Congress eyes massive infrastructure bill, energy and climate move closer to center stage

The imminent enactment of Democrats' $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package creates space for lawmakers and the White House to craft infrastructure plans with big climate and energy-related provisions.

Why it matters: President Biden, during the campaign, vowed to make low-carbon energy, climate-resilient infrastructure and transportation projects a big focus of an economic recovery package. And the Texas power crisis could give fresh momentum to investments in grid modernization.

Keep reading... Show less

The European Central Bank and the market's moment of truth

The biggest event for markets this week will be Thursday's meeting of the European Central Bank's governing council and the press conference following it from ECB president Christine Lagarde.

Why it matters: With interest rates jumping around the globe, investors are looking to central bank heads to see if they will follow the lead of Fed chair Jerome Powell, who says rising rates are nothing to worry about, or Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda, who has drawn a line in the sand on rates.

Keep reading... Show less

Joe Manchin pledges to block Biden's infrastructure bill if Republicans aren't included

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), America's ultimate swing voter, told me on "Axios on HBO" that he'll insist Republicans have more of a voice on President Biden's next big package than they did on the COVID stimulus.

The big picture: Manchin said he'll push for tax hikes to pay for Biden's upcoming infrastructure and climate proposal, and will use his Energy Committee chairmanship to force the GOP to confront climate reality.

Keep reading... Show less

Why picking a jury for the Derek Chauvin trial is so hard

The tough task of selecting a jury for former MPD officer Derek Chauvin's trial for the killing of George Floyd is set to begin Monday.

The state of play: "This case may be the most highly publicized criminal trial in a long time. ... That means that it's harder to find people who really have an open mind," Richard Frase, University of Minnesota Law School professor of criminal law, told Axios.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories