Parler is a new social media app, touted as an alternative to Facebook or Twitter, that many conservatives have joined after the presidential election. The app has also displayed a number of errors for people who are joining, including captcha errors, unauthorized user errors, and network timeout messages. Is the app down or not working? Officials with Parler have said that the issues are in part from so many people joining the social networking site.
To learn more about the January 8, 2021, Parler crash, see Heavy’s story here.
The App Has Been Having Technical Issues
Parler is a microblogging, social networking site that first was launched in August 2018. It was founded by John Matze and Jared Thomson, Buzzfeed News reported. Matze is currently the CEO.
Parler allows users to post with a 1,000-character limit, and others can vote on posts or “echo” them. An echo is similar to a retweet or a Facebook share.
Because so many have been joining the site, many users are seeing a number of errors, including “Network Timeout” errors, “unauthorized” errors, Captcha errors, and even errors reading timelines or posts.
Here’s an example of one error you might see.
One error reads: “Networking Timeout. It seems we are either over capacity or you are experiencing a poor network connection.”
Officials at Parler have shared that these errors are due to so many people signing up. Alexander Blair, CTO of Parler, posted the following message about the issues.
He wrote, in part: “Over the last couple of days, we’ve received a massive influx of new Parler community members, and we’re delighted to have everyone onboard! The system’s infrastructure is designed to scale extremely rapidly…however, there’s a couple of activities that everyone’s been using that are less-used in general, so we didn’t have quite as many optimizations around them. We’ve always kept a buffer for spike loads, and we had even more so through the election, but the post-election traffic increases have been absolutely massive…”
Matze added his own message:
Matze wrote, in part: “Scaling issues are normal! We are prepared for this mostly, however not everything is predictable. We have increased the number of people per day on Parler by 4x in the last 24 hours…. it’s looking like this trend will continue…”
A day earlier, Matze posted another message about things smoothing out at Parler after getting two million people on the app in just one day.
The Parler developer account has also been posting updates. The account said that “one thing after another” was breaking. “We planned for growth over the last few days but we are breaking all our most optimistic growth numbers.”
The account also said they were moving things around to increase capacity, and users may experience issues with parleys, echos, and comments from time to time.
Parler Has Seen an Influx of Conservatives Joining the Site
Parler has been controversial in the short time that it’s been around. Matze said in July that he personally doesn’t like the Democratic or Republican party and hoped the site wouldn’t turn into an “echo chamber” for conservatives, CNET reported.
Matze also said that he disagreed with Twitter’s warning labels on Trump’s tweets, Newsweek reported. He said:
I don’t think it’s possible for Twitter to say with a 100 percent fact that there’s not one mistake in the election and that there is not one fraudulent vote so fact checking the president on all of this is pretty ludicrous. Frankly, I think it’s part of our election process that allows [us] to check the results and re-counts so what they are doing is really interfering with what he is trying to say. People should be able to listen and judge for themselves.
So many conservative celebrities and Trump supporters have joined the site that it’s now reported to be a social media platform for the right, Independent reported. Many people banned from Twitter or Facebook have opened accounts on Parler. Parler describes itself as a site focused on “free expression without violence and no censorship.”
CNET noted that the site doesn’t ask for your political party when you sign up, nor does it brand itself as a political site. However, it only recommends conservatives to follow. This might be due to a low number of liberal members, however, CNET suggested.