Parler’s CEO has said that he has been receiving death threats since his social media platform was thrust into the spotlight when rivals shut down accounts owned by Donald Trump and his allies.
John Matze, who launched the app in August 2018 as an alternative to Twitter, said that he was being destroyed by the tech giants.
‘People are threatening my life,’ he said. ‘I can’t go home tonight.
‘So this is really a lot, you know. This is not just our civil liberties. [Big Tech] can shut down a billion-dollar company, half-a-billion dollar company overnight.’
Apple, Google and Amazon banned Parler from their app stores on Friday due to a failure to moderate ‘egregious content’ posted by users related to the violent siege last week.
John Matze, CEO of Parler, said on Monday night that he was receiving death threats
Hailed by Donald Trump supporters as a conservative-friendly alternative to Twitter, Parler is seen as a magnet for the far right and was accused by Apple, Google and Amazon of continuing to allow messages inciting violence after Wednesday’s attack at the Capitol
Trump was blocked from Twitter and Facebook on Thursday, after he was deemed as being a threat to the nation, inciting unrest. Twitter lost $2 billion in value on Monday after Trump was kicked off the platform.
The president’s supporters abandoned the social media giants in protest, and flocked to Parler – increasingly a refuge for extremists and pro-Trump voices.
The company’s chief content officer, Amy Peikoff, further said that social media firms forcing Parler from their platform was Orwellian.
Parler CEO John Matze warned in his final post before the 3am deadline that ‘we will likely be down longer than expected’ as tech firms distance themselves from the site
‘The tech giants want their model to be the standard for the entire internet,’ she said. ‘And to us, we think that that takes Orwell’s 1984 from a dystopian novel and turns it into an instruction manual for everybody to follow.’
Matze told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that it was ‘scary’ how comprehensive his blacklisting had been, and how quick.
‘You just never think it will happen, right?’ Matze told Carlson. ‘You know?
‘What is really interesting is that they all did on the same day, those three [Apple, Google and Amazon] without any prior warning. We woke up on Friday thinking business, business as usual.’
Matze told Carlson that when Google dropped Parler, ‘we didn’t get a notice from Google. We read it online in the news first. That is shocking.’
Carlson said that he was angered by the ‘corporate cowards who bowed to pressure to silence you’.
Matze continued: ‘I have seen a lot of people say this is scary, but I’ve seen a lot of people who are participating in the five minutes of hate and egging it on and cheering. It is disgusting.’
He said that his team was working to find a way to keep operating, despite the actions of Amazon, Google and Apple.
‘We will be back up eventually because we’re not going to give up,’ he said.
‘We have to build our own infrastructure, just to do it.’
Shortly after 3am EST on Monday, Parler disappeared from the web with an error message saying ‘we can’t connect to the server’ after Amazon pulled the plug
The app was removed from the Google app store after conservative social media users flocked to the site in the wake of the Capitol attack
Amy Peikoff, Parler’s chief content officer, described the limits on her company as Orwellian
What are Parler’s options now?
Losing access to the app stores of Google and Apple — whose operating systems power hundreds of millions of smartphones — severely limits Parler’s reach, though it had continued to be accessible via web browser.
The decision by Amazon Web Services to remove Parler means it now needs to scramble to find another web host in addition to ‘rebuilding the site from scratch’.
Google and Apple both booted Gab from their app stores in 2017 and it was left internet-homeless for a time the following year due to anti-Semitic posts attributed to the man accused of killing 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Microsoft also terminated a web-hosting contract.
It now hosts through its own servers, so that is an option.
Or it can find another server willing to host the site. Max Aliapoulios, a computer science Ph. D candidate told Business Insider: ‘It is realistic to expect that Parler will find another provider to host their services like AWS.
‘That being said, now the precedent is set and Parler will likely always have an uphill battle with finding a home to host them on the internet.’
Peikoff, Parler’s chief content officer, echoed Matze’s concern.
She told Fox’s Sean Hannity that Parler was created to foster ‘productive discussions’ between ‘people of differing viewpoints who actually put them to the test by engaging in discussions with each other.’
Peikoff said Parler was an alternative to the surveillance which came with other social media platforms.
‘We wanted to handle this content in a way that respect the privacy of people and that’s where we are disagreeing now.’
Parler on Monday morning announced that it was suing Amazon, seeking a temporary restraining order to keep Amazon Web Services (AWS) from blackballing Parler.
The suit claims Amazon Web Services is violating the Sherman Antitrust Act by blocking Parler.
Parler claims that it is being discriminated against because it is in direct competition with social media giant Twitter.
‘Last month, Defendant Amazon Web Services, Inc. (‘AWS’) and the popular social media platform Twitter signed a multi-year deal so that AWS could support the daily delivery of millions of tweets,’ the court documents, obtained by Fox, state.
‘AWS currently provides that same service to Parler, a conservative microblogging alternative and competitor to Twitter.
‘When Twitter announced two evenings ago that it was permanently banning President Trump from its platform, conservative users began to flee Twitter en masse for Parler.
‘The exodus was so large that the next day, yesterday, Parler became the number one free app downloaded from Apple’s App Store.’
The abandoning of Twitter was reflected in its share price.
Twitter saw its shares drop by six per cent Monday – wiping $2 billion off the company value on the first day of trading after banning Trump from the platform.
Trump’s account had 88.7 million followers, which is nearly half of the company’s total base of monetizable daily active users.
CNBC’s Jim Cramer said the loss of Trump was being felt by the platform, and urged Twitter to find a new attraction ‘very, very quickly.’
Jim Cramer, CNBC analyst, said that Twitter was feeling the departure of Donald Trump
Twitter lost $2 billion in value following Monday’s trading, as Trump was blocked from the site
‘I think that there are a lot of people who literally knew that the president was the most important person, and you had to keep checking him, and then you had to check people who talked about him,’ Cramer said.
‘And you just had this endless wave, this web that the president created, and then it was like action and reaction, so I think that the surprise factor of going to Twitter, which was of course the president, is gone!’
Cramer said he noticed he checked his Twitter feed less now that Trump has been banned from the platform.
‘Twitter’s got to come up with a new thesis very, very quickly because I think they always, they never talked about the power of Trump in bringing in people,’ he added.
‘I am telling you the real Donald Trump was a great sales person for Twitter.’