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Parler went down on Sunday after Amazon booted it from the Amazon Web Services platform, saying that the company violated the terms of service by failing to effectively moderate threats of violence after the siege of the US Capitol. The ban followed the removal of Parler from Apple’s and Google’s app stores.
On Saturday, CEO John Matze said that Parler could be down for about a week as it hunted for a new web hosting service, sending the “free speech” social media app favored by supporters of President Donald Trump into limbo. In an interview on Sunday, Matze suggested that it might take longer than that as its vendors cut off their relationships with Parler.
Indeed, experts say that even if Parler does find a new web hosting service, or if it moves to host its own servers, the company will still face many technical hurdles before the app is restored to its previous functionality. BuzzFeed News reports that Parler was spending some $300,000 a month on AWS, indicating that the app operates at a scale that’s difficult to merely pick up and move.
Parler did not respond to a request for comment.
The challenges begin with the fact that it appears that Parler might have trouble finding a host among the major cloud providers that compete with AWS, over concerns that the company would inherently pose a risk to their terms of service.
On Tuesday, Parler registered its domain with Epik, a Washington-based hosting provider known for hosting far-right extremist content, though Epik denied in a statement that the two companies had been in touch. While it’s not clear if Parler will ultimately wind up using Epik to return online, it does seem that the app’s choices are limited.
A Google Cloud spokesperson told Insider that Parler would violate its terms of service and acceptable use policy, which ban illegal activity — and that the company doesn’t allow its services to be used to incite violence.
Likewise, an IBM spokesperson said that “Parler is not an IBM client. We would not pursue or permit business with any client whose activities would violate IBM’s terms of service.” Oracle will not be hosting Parler, according to a source familiar with the matter. Microsoft did not comment at the time of publication.
That leaves Parler with few alternatives, apart from potential outliers like Epik. It could go to a foreign cloud provider like Alibaba Cloud, operated by Chinese cloud and e-commerce giant Alibaba, but it’s uncommon for American companies like Parler to make such moves. Alibaba did not respond to a request for comment.
It could also build out its own servers, but doing so at the scale required by Parler would be costly and difficult, requiring time and money up to get operational.
No matter what it chooses, migrating an entire app like Parler to a new hosting solution is a challenging technical process that could take months, said Corey Quinn, chief cloud economist at the Duckbill Group. Even if …read more
Source:: Business Insider