Epik says it has not discussed hosting Parler despite domain registration

Parler registered its domain with host-sharing site Epik on Monday, according to publicly available WHOIS search results. However, Epik told FOX Business that it has not engaged in discussions with Parler about hosting the alternative social media platform.

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Prior to Parler’s domain registration on Monday, Epik released a statement that it had “no contact or discussions with Parler in any form regarding our organization becoming their registrar or hosting provider,” and that from its understanding, Parler was working on “satisfying the requested terms placed upon them by various elements of their supply chain.”

However, the statement appeared to defend Parler while slamming tech giants like Facebook and Twitter for making “real change or accountability almost impossible,” arguing that the “political interests and objectives of their own executives end up creating an undeniable double standard for both policing and enforcement.”

“In terms of the eagerness by some to call for mass deplatforming and universal cancellations, it is becoming increasingly easy to demonize anyone who has different beliefs with no recognition of the actual effects and impact this can have on society,” wrote Epik Senior Vice President of Communications Robert Davis. “Vicious attack campaigns can be readily manufactured, online or offline, to promote a false public consensus.

“Without smarter discernment outside of a mob‐based judgment of instant convenience, the decisions we make now may ultimately be utilized to reduce liberties that many take for granted.”

Davis told FOX Business that Epik proceeded to have a phone call with Parler after being blindsided by its registration, but never discussed hosting the platform. Instead, the conversation strictly revolved around techniques Parler could utilize to improve its oversight and content moderation practices to keep political discourse on its platform from getting out of hand.

“It wasn’t about hosting,” Davis said. “It was Parler literally wanting to find out what the best ideas were to prevent hateful content on their networks in the future.”

A spokesperson for Parler did not immediately return FOX Business’ request for comment.

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Parler’s registration comes after its ties with Amazon Web Services were servered after screenshots appeared to show Parler users openly discussing plans for violence at the rally that preceded the attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters last week. Parler has since filed a lawsuit, alleging AWS acted with “political animus” in its decision to shut the platform down and that Amazon committed both a breach of contract and antitrust violation.

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Meanwhile, Google and Apple have also taken action against Parler in the wake of the events at the Capitol, suspending it from their app stores on Friday due to a failure to moderate “egregious content” posted by users related to the violent siege.

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Epik, founded in 2009, has roughly 2 million domain names under management. Another alternative, conservative-friendly social media platform that registered its domain with Epik is Gab, which claimed to be gaining 10,000 users per hour on Saturday in response to Twitter’s permanent suspension of President Trump’s account.

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