When Epik released their official statement on January 11 after Parler was taken offline by Amazon Web Services, they did so to shine a light on the increasingly brazen, extreme, and shockingly transparent methods used by media owners as they strive to shape the public’s understanding of events. Truth is most often excluded, and instead, the narrative is strategic, biased, and self-serving. 

UncoverDC spoke exclusively with Rob Davis, SVP of Strategy and Communications at Epik, who explained that the company released its Jan. 11 statement without having had any prior discussion with Parler. Although Parler has since registered its domain name with Epik, it is unclear what Epik’s ultimate role will be in Parler’s future. However, it is clear that Epik cares deeply about defining the line for responsible free speech and mentoring Parler as it makes its comeback.

With its first statement read by millions, Epik released a follow-up statement on Jan. 14 to acknowledge the outpouring of positive encouragement and support it has received over the past several days. The statement notes that in this time of great uncertainty, many influencers seem to want to guide opinions, sentiments, and perceptions into two contrasting polarities when we desperately need healing, unity, and reconciliation. Besides offering priceless insight into the current state of affairs, the statement is a tactical map of how Parler can rebrand itself and get back online after recognizing the faults that played a part in taking them offline. 

Davis revealed that when AWS took down Parler—in an unprecedented move—its objective was to make a mockery of the conservative and “happy” platform by taking them offline and terminating the voices of 15 million people. The aim was to instill fear and uncertainty in Parler’s user base. The media beast intentionally set out to weaken and sabotage Parler’s past feeds, using a handful of unseen posts to terminate its service. A day later, in a coordinated attack in the legacy media (numerous articles were released in a very short period of time), they employed secondary reporting efforts to increase the obstacles Parler would face by telling its loyal users that all of their personal data had been scraped. Davis explained that “a top-down macro look at the articles, their writers, the publishers, and the timing reveals that this was highly coordinated.” 

Additionally, in an attempt to permanently scare Parler offline, the current narrative insinuates that possible domestic terrorism legislation coming in the new Democrat-controlled administration is focused on Parler and its users, suggesting they may face persecution and retaliation for anything they posted in the past or might post in the future. 

At this point, Epik’s advice to Parler is honest, straightforward, and clearly outlined in the company’s statement. With compassion in his voice, Davis remarked that “Epik has an obligation to the public and the 15 million patriots who use Parler to at least give them the guidance of what we would do if this happened to us.” He believes Parler will look back in a few months and be very thankful to be off AWS because they will end up smarter, more attentive to their network, more alert to what needs to be changed, fixed, and updated, and will take their responsibilities more seriously. Not to mention they might inspire other social media platforms to reevaluate their own business practices. And 15 million people will have an even better voice.

The silver lining in all of this is that the current circumstances give Parler a tremendous view on necessary upgrades they can examine to evolve their platform and system. It also presents them the unique opportunity to gain Epik as a steadfast ally in the fight against the growing and very real threat of online censorship. 

Editors Note: UncoverDC is hosted at Epik