Pirate Bay's founder thinks Parler's inability to stay online is "embarrassing"

  1. 10

    Platform risk (shoutout @dru_riley) was already a big topic among tech founders. Especially non-technical tech founders. Without the recent rise in third-party tools that lower the barriers to blogging, podcasting, website-building, and so on, we wouldn't be talking about the passion economy, no-code, etc.

    This makes Pirate Bay super interesting. They haven't simply avoided digital sharecropping (building on major third-party platforms). They've gone to the depths of sea and space — literally — to stay operational:

    article quote

    1. 3

      I don’t thinks serverless (e.g. AWS) is the type of platform risk that indie hackers should worry about unless you’re building something illegal (piracy) or morally questionable in the eyes of society (gambling, porn, forum for hate groups).

      Platform risk is highest when the platform inserts itself between your product and your customer, usually in the form of distribution and marketing.

      1. 3

        I think the biggest platform risk comes from revenue access.

        Think demonetization on YouTube, or Stripe cutting off a business for god knows what reason.

        1. 1

          Yes, I think all these are related: revenue access, customer access, distribution access.

    2. 0

      It doesn't look like they have followed through on the drones or submarines as far as I can tell, just vague plans.

  2. 4

    It really says about the company and owner. There are 100s of bulletproof offshore hosting solutions which easily can keep Parler online without shutting service for some days. Even though AWS warned them before kicking out, they could have just moved to Offshore hosting.

    1. 3

      AWS gave them ~48hrs notice before breaching their contract. They had between 3-400 servers running on AWS.

      TPB in contrast can fit all their data on a USB stick.

      If you put yourself in their shoes you'll find you don't want to move to another provider again unless you're 100% sure they are trustworthy and reliable.

      1. 1

        According to this article, Amazon had been issuing warnings for at least 2 months


        1. 1

          I don't see any actual evidence of that. We'll have to wait until the emails get supplied to a Judge to look over before knowing if that's true.

          1. 1

            Well no evidence besides the emails that are linked in the article and submitted to court, but yeah

            1. 2

              Just saw that, thanks.

              Those may be cherry-picked, the judge would need to see all emails.

              The Obama post looks not nice, but legal.
              The two threats are content that should be taken down according to US law.

              It's interesting that AWS was doing such micro-managing for Parler, when they host much more data for Twitter, and last week "Hang Mike Pence" was trending for a full day.

  3. 3

    It may be embarrassing, but still begs the deeper question: "should a legitimate company have to go to such lengths just to exist"?

    1. 4

      Hey, welcome to the real world.

      Where certain private minority elites have tremendous unchecked power and can do anything they want.

  4. 2

    I wonder why they never anticipated that. Maybe I am being paranoid but my experience with Facebook Ads, Amazon Seller Account has left bitter lessons. You hardly know what went wrong.

    In Parler's case, building for politics should have thought them that with the left literally in control of federal authorities, media and social institutions, they wouldn't hesitate to go on the offensive against anything that challenges them.

    They should have gone hybrid and multi-cloud from day one.

    1. 3

      In Parler's case, building for politics should have thought them that with the left literally in control of federal authorities, media and social institutions, they wouldn't hesitate to go on the offensive against anything that challenges them.

      Absolutely. They have total and complete control of our media and governmental institutions (and they basically control the airwaves and free flow of information too), so I don't know, being conservative or identifying as one is just choosing a hard life.

      Just toe the line, really. It's just politics. Glorified dinner chatter.

  5. 2

    Have you used the product? It's a technical and UX disaster.

  6. 2

    This is one of the funniest titles I've seen in a long time, but it also goes to show the heightened importance of scrappiness.

    You can't pay your way into existence, if you're relying on very uncreative ways to survive. I think this also goes far beyond platform risk.

    I'm thankful that this is the case for Parler, though. Net negative existence.

  7. 1

    This might be an unpopular take on IH (maybe not, I'm not good at reading the temperature of the room), but just don't do anything controversial if you intend to make money.

    Why make it difficult on yourself?

    1. 1

      I agree with you, but to be fair, I don't think Parler had intended to get caught in the crossfire. Being a space for conservative voices isn't intrinsically controversial. If the riot hadn't happened, Parler would probably still be around.

      1. 1

        Being a space for conservative voices isn't intrinsically controversial.

        That's going to be a disagree from me.

        Big Tech is extremely liberal, and that pretty much means you're already walking on thin ice the moment you publicly identify as conservative or even conservative-friendly.

        We all have to know which side our bread is buttered and prioritize survival.

        Look at how the big corporations survive -- they toe the line and prioritize profits. Period.

        1. 4

          I agree with you. My experience living and working with liberals has made me question if I should still consider myself one of them.

          With zero tolerance for any idea, suggestions or opinion that they disapprove of, I wonder why Parler never saw this coming.

        2. 1

          Maybe in this political environment, you're right. Now that I think about it, when Parler started, I think they positioned themselves as a place where conservatives could go when they got kicked off other platforms. I don't know, I don't follow that stuff very closely.

  8. 1

    Bwahahaha. Good one.

  9. 1

    I watched the Pirate Bay documentary on his suggestion, it's pretty fascinating. It covers their court case in Sweden, when the founders were tried on copyright charges: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTOKXCEwo_8

  10. 0

    The funny thing is that we keep coming through this cycle, and none of them can be bothered to learn from their predecessors. It's always...

    • Right-wingers get themselves banned from legitimate social media sites.
    • Right-wing politicians wring their hands about "free speech," ignoring the bills they try to pass allowing people to murder protesters.
    • Wealthy right-wing techie says "we'll show them by holding an anti-prom." Or "we'll have social media without moderation." Same difference.
    • Turns out, nobody really wants to be on the new site, because the value of social media is the size of the "market," interaction design, and the millions spent on reliability engineering.
    • The people who stay are the most radicalized, and further radicalize each other, eventually openly advocating and planning violence.
    • The new site gets de-platformed for being too big a legal and financial liability to all their vendors, because it turns out that it's hard to sell to the majority of people when you support the people who'd like to murder or otherwise disenfranchise them...

    There's the added twist that they also just didn't have very good security, making it easy for hackers to archive just about everything. But we've seen this at least half a dozen times that I know about, making me think that none of these projects are actually serious. More likely, they're somewhere between a grift to scrape up ad money from terrorist-wannabes (the role mercenary magazines used to play) and a bluff hoping to get back access to the much larger communities that the major social media sites have cultivated. But because of that, they shine a great spotlight on what a social network actually is.

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