Parler, the Twitter-like social media app that was popular with the far right in the United States, could stage a dramatic return next year.

The Associated Press reported that Parler is relaunching sometime in Q1 2024, ahead of the US presidential elections, under new ownership.

Parler was founded in 2018 and billed itself as a “free speech-driven” social media platform, but it quickly became a haven for many on the far right in the US who objected to the rules governing misinformation and falsehood on mainstream social media platforms.

Parler shutdown

Indeed, Parler achieved fame for being mostly used by supporters of former US President Donald Trump and the right wing in the US. The platform was also reportedly awash with QAnon conspiracy content.

QAnon is a far-right conspiracy that alleges there is a “deep state” campaign against Donald Trump and his supporters. Essentially QAnon touts there is a worldwide cabal of Satan-worshipping paedophiles who rule the world, and who control politicians, the media, and Hollywood.

After the storming of the US Capitol building on Wednesday 6 January 2021 by supporters of Donald Trump, that resulted in the deaths of five people, including one police officer who was beaten to death, Google and Apple removed Parler from their respective App Stores after it emerged that many rioters used the app.

Soon after on 10 January 2021 Parler disappeared online, when Amazon Web Services (AWS) stopped hosting it.

At that time Parler launched a lawsuit against AWS in response, and the platform did make a brief return online with the help of a Russian-owned technology company. But behind the scenes Parler founder and CEO John Matze was fired by the app’s board of directors.

Parler eventually returned online in mid February 2021 by using CloudRoute LLC as its new host and replacing Amazon with open-source software platform Ceph.

Despite its billing as a “free speech” social network, the site was forced to add content moderation in order for it to be restored to the Apple App Store in May 2021.

It only returned to the Google Play Store in September 2022.

Parler acquisition

In October 2022 controversial American rapper Kanye West, who legal challenged his name to Ye in 2021 and also divorced the reality star Kim Kardashian, announced he was to purchase Parler.

Ye (formerly known as Kayne West). Image credit Parlement Technologies

But that deal collapsed in December 2022 “in the interest of both parties”.

Parler also said it would continue to pursue future opportunities for growth.

In in April 2023 digital media firm Starboard acquired the platform and closed it down temporarily for a “strategic assessment.”

Parler has been offline ever since.

Parler rebirth

Now the AP has reported that Parler was recently acquired by Texas-based limited liability corporation known as PDS Partners.

The new owners of the company reportedly announced this week the platform is preparing for a “powerful resurgence” that emphasises “a return to its roots as a robust marketplace of ideas.”

According to AP, Elise Pierotti, who is returning as the platform’s chief marketing officer, said PDS Partners consists of herself, Parler’s new CEO Ryan Rhodes and others who are choosing to remain anonymous.

Jaco Booyens, an anti-sex trafficking activist, will reportedly serve as the chief strategy officer.

Pierotti did not disclose the terms of the deal. She said it was finalised last week and expects the platform to relaunch in the first quarter of next year.

Pierotti reportedly said Parler will no longer be using Amazon’s cloud service AWS. Instead, she said it will rely on other technology including a “hyper-scaled private cloud.”

“As a new company we prefer to not be associated with those events and have taken the steps to combat those issues” with moderation services, she was quoted as saying.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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