Parler may never recover from being banned by Amazon and a number of other technology companies, CEO John Matze told Reuters in a Wednesday interview.
“I am an optimist,” he said at one point in the conversation. “It may take days, it may take weeks but Parler will return and when we do we will be stronger.”
But at another point in the conversation, he acknowledged, “It could be never. We don’t know yet.”
Over the weekend, Google and Apple both removed Parler from their app stores. Shortly after that, Amazon kicked Parler off of Amazon Web Services, which was hosting the site. And it wasn’t just Amazon. “Every vendor, from text message services to email providers to our lawyers, all ditched us,” Matze said in a Sunday interview on Fox News. Parler has been offline ever since then.
Technology companies were concerned because Parler had become a gathering place for the kind of right-wing extremists who planned last week’s violent assault on the US Capitol. Amazon says it warned Parler for months about violent content hosted on the site—for example, content that called for “the rape, torture, and assassination of named public officials and private citizens.”
After Amazon booted Parler off AWS, Parler sued Amazon. Parler claims that the takedown was part of an anticompetitive conspiracy to bolster Twitter’s dominance. But as Amazon pointed out in its response, Amazon doesn’t host Twitter’s feed, and the two companies didn’t communicate about Parler.
With multiple services ditching Parler simultaneously, it could take a while for Parler’s engineers to rebuild the service using different vendors. Even if they can manage that, they’re likely to be stymied by the Apple and Google bans, since they’ll have no easy way to distribute their mobile app to users.