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Parlor, launched in August 2018, is a social media platform that allows free expression without restrictions or censorship. Since its debut, the parlor quickly became popular among conservative and right-wing users who were searching for an alternative to mainstream platforms like Facebook and Twitter that they perceived to be biased against them.
John Matze and Jared Thomson came up with the concept for a parlor as part of an entrepreneurial venture to offer an open dialogue platform where users could express themselves without worrying about being censored or their content being removed. When they created the parlor, they saw an opportunity for free expression on an app platform that anyone could access. They launched it as their mission was to offer users an outlet where their voice could be heard without fear of censorship or content removal from other users.
Initial adoption of the parlor was slow and difficult; most mainstream users ignored it altogether. But in June 2020, its visibility skyrocketed when prominent conservative figures like Senator Ted Cruz and Fox News commentator Sean Hannity joined its platform - this resulted in significant download increases and increased engagement for a parlor.
In the lead-up to the 2020 US presidential election, parlor emerged as a haven for right-wing users who felt mainstream social media platforms were suppressing conservative voices. It quickly earned a reputation as an outlet for conspiracy theories, misinformation, and hate speech; its user base also included those banned from other platforms for violating community guidelines.
However, after the January 6th insurrection at the US Capitol, the parlor was subject to severe backlash from technology companies which claimed that its app allowed violent content to flourish on its platform. Amazon Web Services suspended their account hosting parlor, effectively taking it offline; the parlor then sued Amazon for breach of contract, but the case was dismissed.
Since its demise, the parlor has attempted to make a comeback yet has experienced many setbacks. It was removed from Google Play and Apple App Store, making it more difficult for users to download, struggling to attract investors, and its user base has decreased significantly. Yet despite these setbacks, the platform continues to operate, and its founders remain dedicated to encouraging free speech and open dialogue through it.
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