‘Devastating blow to free speech’ or a laughing matter? Outrage & celebration over Parler’s shutdown light up Internet

Cries of censorship as well as gloating posts could be seen online after the conservative-targeting social media platform Parler went offline early Monday, following US tech companies’ moves to block the network.

Following Apple and Google’s ban of the conservative social network from their web stores over the weekend, Amazon suspended Parler from web hosting services, saying that the platform has experienced “a steady increase in this violent content” in the wake of the riot at the US Capitol.

The shutdown caused quite the controversy, as the app was from the start marketed as lighter moderated equivalent to Twitter, promising to better uphold the virtues of ‘free speech.’

US conservatives have reacted to Parler going offline with immediate hostility. FOX’ Brian Kilmeade said that the development was “scary,” and host Maria Bartiromo called it a “devastating blow to free speech.”

Twitter users have called the shutdown an act of “censorship,” with some claiming it was part of a larger media “purge” of right-wing politics online.

Some, however, cheered for Parler’s apparent demise, with one person joking that it forced “all the crazies back on Twitter.”

A few users went as far as to commemorate Parler’s shutdown by making memes about it. Some tweeters offered US conservatives a tin can telephone as the censorship-proof equivalent to the app. Another person referenced the infamous clip of vice president-elect Kamala Harris congratulating her running mate Joe Biden on their election victory, saying, “We did it, Joe, we did it.”

Despite the seeming finality of Parler going offline, its CEO, John Matze, previously said he was planning for the app to come back, noting, however, that the process would take “longer than expected,” as most of the platform’s vendors apparently decided to drop it, following the lead of Amazon, Apple and Google.

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Parler goes offline as Amazon pulls the plug on the conservative social network

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