They also planned to generate revenue based on an ad matching scheme whereby companies would be matched with parler influencers to post sponsored content, with parler taking a percentage of each deal. Slate has questioned parler’s business model, writing that parler’s plan to rely on advertising revenue “Seems far from foolproof” given the 2020 advertising boycotts of facebook by some large brands who objected to hateful content on the platform. Nbc also questioned whether corporations would be interested in advertising alongside “Controversial material” on parler. Matze said in an interview on june 29, 2020 that the business was not profitable. As of january 2021, parler had not received any known venture capital, although in february 2021 buzzfeed news reported that parler had recently sought to obtain funding from j. Parler has not disclosed the identities of its owners; however, dan bongino publicly announced in june 2020 that he had purchased an “Ownership stake” of unspecified value.
The journal also noted that parler could consider using smaller cloud hosting companies, but that some technologists doubted such companies’ ability to provide stable hosting to such a heavily-used service. One such smaller provider, Parler digitalocean, let it be known that they would not accept parler as a customer. After the shutdown, parler users were reported to have migrated to other alt-tech websites including bitchute, clapper, clouthub, dlive, gab, mewe, minds, rumble, and wimkin, as well as encrypted messaging services including telegram and signal. Echoing google’s rationale for dropping its version of the parler app, amazon said that parler’s failure to police violent content made the site “A very real risk to public safety”. Parler went offline when amazon withdrew its cloud computing services as scheduled. On january 11, parler sued amazon under antitrust law, saying that the suspension of services was “Apparently motivated by political animus”, and had been carried out with the intention of benefiting twitter by reducing competition. District judge barbara rothstein ruled in amazon’s favor ten days later.
In november 2020, matze wrote in a parler post that parler was owned by “Myself, a small group of close friends and employees”, and had as investors bongino and parler chief operating officer jeffrey wernick. In november 2020, a manipulated image circulated on social media of a fox news chyron that appeared to report that george soros, a billionaire philanthropist and the frequent target of antisemitic conspiracy theories, was a majority owner of parler. Soros does not own parler and fox news never reported the claim; the image had been digitally altered from a photo of a television showing a fox broadcast about a different subject. Individual users can optionally set their account to only view parleys from other verified users. According to matze, the purpose of the verification feature is to allow users to minimize their contact with trolls and bots. Anyone who verifies their identity on parler is given a red badge, and people considered to be public figures are denoted with a gold badge. Spammers have exploited this two-tier verification system by providing documentation to verify their identity, obtaining a red badge, and changing their account name.
Both epik and ddos-guard have said they were not providing parler with webhosting. As of january 20, 2021, the page read “Our return is inevitable”. According to a january 12 wall street journal report, other cloud hosting platforms that could potentially host parler would be google cloud platform, microsoft azure, or the oracle cloud platform. As of publication, parler had not contacted microsoft, and would not be using oracle for cloud hosting; google declined to comment, but the journal noted that google had denied parler a position in their app store.
The red badge, indicating that a real person operates the account, persisted after the name change. At the point of registration, users have the option of supplying a photo of themselves and a scan of the front and back of their government-issued photo identification to have their account verified by parler. In order to join parler’s “Influencer network”, the company may ask for users’ social security or tax identification numbers. Parler is known for its far-right and alt-right, antisemitic, anti-feminist, and islamophobic content. Many posts on parler contain misinformation and conspiracy theories. Parler has said they will not fact check posts on the platform, a decision bbc news says has allowed misinformation to spread more easily on the platform than on mainstream social networks. In particular, bbc news noted the presence of posts spreading the qanon conspiracy theory, as well as misinformation surrounding the 2020 u.S. Presidential election, covid-19, child trafficking, and vaccines.
The verge noted in november 2020 that parler had become a “Central hub” for the stop the steal conspiracy theory relating to the 2020 u.S. Presidential election. The forward and the bulwark observed the presence of antisemitic conspiracy theories as well as others. On january 10, parler transferred their domain name registration to epik, a domain registrar and web hosting company known for hosting far-right websites such as gab and infowars. Vice noted that through this move, amazon web services was again indirectly providing services to parler, as epik uses aws to host many of their dns servers. On january 17, parler brought their website back online, hosting only a static page without any of the functionality of the parler service. Parler’s web hosting provider is unknown, but it was noted that they were receiving protection from distributed denial-of-service attacks from the russian-owned cloud services company ddos-guard. This move has been criticized, as routing traffic through russia may enable the russian government to surveil parler’s users and provide data to russia’s federal security service .