The conservative-friendly social network Parler has been booted off the internet over ties to last week’s siege on the US Capitol, but not before hackers made off with an archive of its posts, including any that might have helped organise or document the riot.
Amazon kicked Parler off its web-hosting service on Monday (US time) and the social media app promptly sued to get back online, telling a federal judge the tech giant had breached its contract and abused its market power.
It was a roller coaster of activity for Parler, a two-year-old magnet for the far right that welcomed a surge of new users and became the No.1 free app on iPhones late last week, after Facebook, Twitter and other mainstream social media platforms silenced President Donald Trump’s accounts over comments that seemed to incite Wednesday’s violent insurrection.
The wave of Trump followers flocking to the service was short-lived.
Google yanked Parler’s smartphone app from its app store on Friday (US time) for allowing postings that seek “to incite ongoing violence in the US.”
Apple followed suit on Saturday after giving Parler a day to address complaints it was being used to “plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities”.
It was later joined by Amazon, which informed Parler it would need to look for a new web-hosting service after Sunday.
Parler chief executive John Matze decried the punishments as “a co-ordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the marketplace”.
Mr Matze has signalled there is little chance of getting Parler back online soon after “every vendor, from text message services, to email providers, to our lawyers all ditched us too on the same day”, he told Fox New Channel.
Meanwhile, a group of activist hackers have salvaged much of what happened on Parler before it went offline and said they planned to put it into a public archive.
One described the operation on Twitter as “a bunch of people running into a burning building trying to grab as many things as we can”.