Cloud Computing

Right-wing social media company Parler expands to the cloud

The company is reinventing itself as a home for sites forced off the internet for hosting hateful and objectionable content.
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Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

· 3 min read

Step into my Parler, said the hacker to the fly.

Parler, a social media app aimed at right-wing users that was shut down after it was used to organize parts of the January 6 riot, is rebranding as a cloud service. The new company, restructured as Parlement Technologies, will offer its services to sites which are forced off the internet for hosting controversial and hateful content.

But a flaw in Parler’s newsletter interface uncovered by IT Brew indicates that the conservative “alt-tech” company faces a big lift to convince users to ditch established cloud services, unless they’re using Parlement as a last resort.

Parler games. After being forwarded Parler’s newsletter by journalist Jacob Silverman, this reporter was able to access the forwarding contact’s internal subscription metrics and profile, and was allowed to change the recipient’s email and preferences. After being forwarded a newsletter from two other addresses, IT Brew’s reporter was able to access their newsletter profiles as well.

“You would think that a company that is trying to stake out a claim as a mature tech company that is a safe place for canceled voices would be a little more responsible than this,” Silverman told IT Brew.

By contrast, subscription services like the one used by news site Protocol require users to confirm their identity before being allowed to change their preferences, email address, and subscriptions.

The Parler newsletter uses software developed by Salesforce known as Salesforce Marketing Cloud or ExactTarget. Parler agreed to use the services in April 2021, according to reporting from The Daily Beast, as part of the company’s “comeback” last year.

Parler did not respond to a request for comment.

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Rebrand redux. Conservative hosting is a niche market seemingly made for Parler, which has been casting about for a coherent business strategy since the bad PR from January 6. The move comes weeks after internet service provider Cloudflare pulled the plug on harassment site Kiwi Farms, citing an “immediate threat to human life.”

On September 2, one day before Kiwi Farms was taken offline, Google allowed Parler back onto its Play Store for the first time since the riot. Google told Axios that the move was made because the app was found to comply with the Play Store’s “robust moderation practices that prohibit objectionable content.”

Parler raised $16 million in Series B funding from undisclosed investors and then bought cloud services company Dynascale to facilitate the restructuring. The Parler app will still exist under the Parlement Technologies umbrella.

“We believe that Parlement Technologies will power the future,” the company’s CEO, George Farmer, said in a newsletter announcing the move. “And the future is uncancelable.”

Parlement isn’t Parler’s first attempt to reset itself. In March, the company rolled out an NFT marketplace, DeepRedSky. Save for a brief spike in interest in June 2022, Similarweb shows the marketplace to be largely unvisited.

Nor is Parler the only right-wing-oriented company looking to expand its footprint into cloud services. Rumble, a popular video platform targeted at conservative audiences, is offering Rumble Cloud Solutions to “businesses, academic and religious institutions and government organizations to create online spaces that welcome every opinion and point of view.”—EH

Do you work in IT or have information about your IT department you want to share? Email [email protected] or DM @EoinHiggins_ on Twitter.

Top insights for IT pros

From cybersecurity and big data to software development and gaming, IT Brew delivers the latest news and analysis of trends shaping the IT industry, like only The Brew can.