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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

UPDATE: Parler, the app that swears it isn’t just for Nazis, is back online thanks to Nazis

Illustration for article titled UPDATE: Parler, the app that swears it isn’t just for Nazis, is back online thanks to Nazis
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After getting essentially blacklisted last month following its role in helping foment the deadly January 6 MAGA putsch on Capitol Hill, the social media app and hate-speech breeding ground known as Parler (not to be confused with Parlor) is unfortunately back online for the segment of the Internet that looks at Twitter and thinks to themselves, “This place is too politically correct for me.”

Parler has long billed itself as the “premier free speech platform,” which in reality means that its a space where anyone can spew whatever vile, bigoted nonsense they want via the alt-social media site. And boy howdy, do those cretins know how to spew. Anyway, who are the delightful scumbags responsible for refilling Parler’s toxic cesspool for reactionary politics? That dishonor can apparently be bestowed upon Epik, Inc., a domain platform registrar based in Washington State. Don’t let the stock image of a nice African American small business owner on their homepage fool you: Epik has a history of backing Nazi-adjacent sites like Gab, Patriots.win, and 8Chan.

Oh, and straight-up Nazi sites such as The Daily Stormer.

Solutions for Digital (White) Empowerment
Solutions for Digital (White) Empowerment
Screenshot: Epik, Inc. (Other)

A quick search via ICANN (along with this Fortune write-up from last month as confirmation) shows Epik, Inc. to be the current registrar for Parler’s domain address, and judging from their catalog of past clients, they won’t be put off by the rightwing social media app’s user base in the slightest. Sure, one could argue that Epik isn’t a Nazi sympathizing business, but rather simply a company that believes everyone has the right to absolute free speech, no matter how aggressive, damaging, or dangerous that speech might be. But judging from Epik’s founder, the conveniently-named Robert Monster’s past public political views that are “at times...almost indistinguishable from those of the neo-Nazis he’s defended on Gab,” according to The Huffington Post, we’re gonna fall back to Occam’s Razor for this one.

Correction: The original version of this article identified Epik as hosting Parler. According to NPR, a company called SkySilk is hosting Parler on its servers now, while Epik remains the domain’s registrar. Please widen your list of “Nazi enablers” accordingly.

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Andrew Paul is a contributing writer with work recently featured by NBC Think, GQ, Slate, Rolling Stone, and McSweeney's Internet Tendency. He writes the newsletter, (((Echo Chamber))).

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