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Photo: Hollie Adams/Getty Images

Far-right-friendly social network Parler is coming back online after going dark for more than a month, following suspensions from Google, Apple and Amazon in light of the Jan. 6 Capital siege.

Why it matters: Parler's de-platforming ignited a free speech debate over whether Big Tech giants have too much control over discourse in America and around the world.

The latest: Parler's app and site faced some technical difficulties throughout Monday, though the company did not comment on the details.

The state of play: Republican political donor Rebekah Mercer, who controls the company's board, has "hired Mark Meckler, a leading voice in the Tea Party movement, to run Parler," the New York Times reports.

  • Existing users will be allowed to return to the app this week, while those looking to join will be able to sign up beginning next week.
  • The company did not reveal which web service will host Parler, saying instead that it is now "built on robust, sustainable, independent technology."

What they're saying: "When Parler was taken offline in January by those who desire to silence tens of millions of Americans, our team came together, determined to keep our promise to our highly engaged community that we would return stronger than ever," Meckler said in a statement, per The Hill.

  • "Parler is being run by an experienced team and is here to stay. We will thrive as the premier social media platform dedicated to free speech, privacy and civil dialogue,” Meckler continued.

But, but, but: "Parler remains in an uncertain position. Apple and Google haven’t restored [Parler's] app to their stores, and it’s still fighting an ongoing lawsuit against Amazon, where a judge appeared unsympathetic to its claims," The Verge writes.

Flashback: Parler's ex-CEO John Matze says company's board fired him in wake of the Capitol attack. He told Axios on HBO earlier this month that he feels "betrayed" by Mercer, the heiress daughter of hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Bill Gates faces scrutiny over relationship with Microsoft employee, Epstein ties

Photo: Alessandro Di Ciommo/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Representatives for Bill Gates pushed back on claims Sunday that he left Microsoft's board because of an earlier sexual relationship and against two other reports detailing more extensive ties with Jeffrey Epstein than had previously been reported.

Driving the news: Microsoft said in an emailed statement to Axios that it "received a concern" in 2019 that its co-founder "sought to initiate an intimate relationship with a company employee in the year 2000," but denied a Wall Street Journal report that its board members thought Gates should resign over the matter.

AT&T in talks with Discovery to combine media assets

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

AT&T is in talks with media giant Discovery about merging its media assets, like CNN, TBS and TNT, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.

Why it matters: A potential merger could allow AT&T and Discovery to better compete with entertainment giants like Disney and Netflix in the video streaming wars.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Franklin Graham worries Trump too old to run in 2024

Graham and Trump at a rally in 2017. Photo: Ralph Freso/Getty Images

The Rev. Franklin Graham says a potential 2024 presidential bid by Donald Trump would "be a very tough thing to do," the prominent Christian leader told "Axios on HBO."

Why it matters: Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, was among Trump's earliest and most prominent evangelical defenders.