Parler CEO ‘Confident’ Platform Will Return by End of January

Parler co-founder and CEO John Matze in Washington on June 11, 2019. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

De-platformed social media website Parler may return by the end of January, coming after the site reappeared online after Amazon Web Services (AWS) took the site down due to alleged violations, according to Parler CEO John Matze.

“I’m confident that by the end of the month, we’ll be back up,” Matze told Fox News on Sunday night. The website reappeared online with a brief statement from Matze.

According to a WHOIS search, Parler appeared to register its domain with Epik web hosting, which also hosts Gab.

“Every day it changes wildly, but I feel confident now,” Matze said, according to the Fox News interview. “We’re making significant progress. When you go into Parler.com it doesn’t go into the void now, it hits a server, and it returns just one piece of information.”

Matze wrote in an update on the site that “now seems like the right time to remind you all—both lovers and haters—why we started this platform.”

“We believe privacy is paramount and free speech essential, especially on social media,” he remarked in his statement, dated Jan. 16. “Our aim has always been to provide a nonpartisan public square where individuals can enjoy and exercise their rights to both. We will resolve any challenge before us and plan to welcome all of you back soon. We will not let civil discourse perish!”

parler screenshot
A screenshot of Parler.com on Jan. 16, 2020. (Screenshot/Parler)

Matze told the broadcaster that he was able to recover Parler’s data from Amazon on Friday, Jan. 15, which is a key step in relaunching the platform. “Now we can actually rebuild Parler,” Matze explained. “It’s critically important.”

On Jan. 11, Parler filed a lawsuit against Amazon Web Services, saying that the firm should reinstate its services while saying Amazon engaged in monopolistic practices. Amazon, in a responding court filing, said Parler violated its terms and services by not moderating threats of violence and other allegedly egregious content, although Parler has since claimed a representative with Amazon appeared to be only concerned about whether President Donald Trump joined the social media website after Twitter and other big tech companies banned his accounts.

The Epoch Times reached out to AWS for comment on Sunday.

Matze added to Fox on Sunday that posting his brief message was a “big milestone” in getting the platform back online.

“We’re going to be putting periodic updates there,” Matze said “We’re going to try to get an update out every day… so that people can stay up to date with the site.”

Other than Amazon, Google and Apple removed Parler’s app from the firms’ respective app programs.

The move to suspend both Parler and Trump from various big tech services drew condemnation from civil liberties groups and conservatives, who have argued that it represents a slippery slope into more censorship.

Parler, which describes itself as a “free speech” social media website, drew a number of Trump supporters and other conservatives, including senators and House representatives. Following Trump’s Twitter ban, the website became the No. 1 app on various app stores before it was taken down.

Source: Parler CEO ‘Confident’ Platform Will Return by End of January

Parler CEO ‘Prepared to Take Full Legal Action’ After Big Tech Companies Target Platform

Parler founder and CEO John Matze speaks to The Epoch Times' American Thought Leaders in 2019. (Screenshot/The Epoch Times)

Parler founder and CEO John Matze said his company is “prepared to take full legal action” after several big tech companies suspended the social media network from their services, according to an email.

John Matze, Parler’s founder, told The Epoch Times in an email that he believes Apple, Google, and Amazon had acted in bad faith and that the social media platform is considering legal action.

Responding to accusations that Parler was enabling “threats of violence and illegal activity,” Matze said these companies are using recent events to “go after Parler,” even though “there is no evidence Parler was used to coordinate the events.”

“Parler has no groups-style feature and Facebook was the number one tool for coordinating meetups for that event,” Matze said.

The targeted moderation by these companies against Parler came after civil unrest and acts of violence marred a largely peaceful protest at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. A group of rioters and a minority of protesters waving American and Trump flags illegally stormed the Capitol building as lawmakers were counting electoral votes in a joint session of Congress. The mayhem on the day left five people dead, including one police office, and dozens of officers injured.

In response to the Capitol breach, a number of Silicon Valley technology companies ramped up their policing of statements and comments from President Donald Trump, conservatives, and other voices they believe may cause harm. Twitter on Friday permanently removed Trump’s account on its platform and justified its censorship by saying that the president had violated its “Glorification of Violence Policy” after he posted a message urging protesters to remain peaceful and leave the Capitol. The Trump campaign Twitter account has also been removed.

Parler, which has attracted a large following of classical liberal and conservative-leaning users, appeared to have been targeted for lacking a system to “implement robust moderation for egregious content.”

Apple said in a statement to media outlets on Saturday that they believe Paler had “not taken adequate measures to address” the proliferation of “threats of violence and illegal activity.”

“We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues,” the statement said.

Apple did not respond to The Epoch Times’ questions about the ban.

Similarly, Amazon told Parler that they would be shutting Parler’s servers at midnight Sunday, Jan. 10, over what it says is the platform’s alleged lax approach to violent content posted by its users. Parler disputes this claim.

Amazon also did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ questions about their suspension.

Matze said he believes these companies are also operating with a double standard.

“Twitter let ‘Hang Mike Pence’ trend the same day Parler was banned from Google … the double standard is obvious,” he said.

The big tech suspension came after Parler rose to become the number one application in Apple’s app store on Saturday, following Twitter’s suspension of Trump’s personal account. Matze said his social media network had around 20 million accounts at the time the companies suspended them.

Mobile app analytics company Sensor Tower told The Wrap in a statement that Parler saw approximately 182,000 first-time downloads in the United States on Jan. 8, which is up 355 percent on Jan. 7. The app saw about 268,000 installs across U.S. app stores since Jan. 6, the statement said.

Matze said on his Parler account late Saturday that he believes Amazon, Google, and Apple coordinated to “try and ensure they don’t have competition.”

“They will NOT win! We are the worlds last hope for free speech and free information,” he said.

“This is a battle against all of us. Liberals, conservatives, atheists, Christians, black, white, etc. They want to keep their monopoly over speech. They want us fighting. They don’t want us working together. They don’t want us working with each other, they want us hating one another.”

Unbalanced policing of user content and certain political views has raised concerns over First Amendment rights and the lack of checks and balances on decisions made by big tech companies. Discussions over limiting or eliminating liability protections under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act for tech companies that have engaged in censoring or political conduct have been heavily discussed in the past year.

Twitter’s move to remove Trump’s account has received widespread scrutiny. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, State Secretary Mike Pompeo, and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley likened Twitter’s move to conduct by the communist party ruling China.

Source: Parler CEO ‘Prepared to Take Full Legal Action’ After Big Tech Companies Target Platform

Twitter Drops SPLC Following Controversy. But What About Facebook And Google?

Facebook, Google, Amazon Silent For Days After Twitter Drops SPLC

Author’s Comment: I have been personally attacked and labeled on the SPLC hate-watch list. My crime was supporting the Bundy Ranch Patriot Political Prisoners and their families during their unjustified incarceration while waiting for the trials that ultimately exonerated them. At one point I was also removed from Facebook for more than 2 months. It took the actions of an Attorney to have my account reinstated.

Twitter distanced itself from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) following reports suggesting that the group scams liberal donors out of money. Facebook has not yet revealed whether it plans on ending its partnership with the group.

Twitter appears to be one of the only big tech companies in Silicon Valley to completely divorce itself from the SPLC, an Alabama-based group that got slammed in March following reports it takes donors’ money while ignoring racial harassment. Facebook has not responded to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s repeated requests for comment about its affiliation with the SPLC.

“The SPLC is not a member of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council or a partner the company has worked with recently,” a source within Twitter told TheDCNF on the condition of anonymity. The company listed the SPLC as a “safety partner” working to combat “hateful conduct and harassment,” according to a June 2018 DCNF report.

Twitter also included the Trust and Safety Council, which “provides input on our safety products, policies, and programs,” the company’s policy page noted at the time. Twitter’s page no longer includes SPLC as a member helping to govern certain types of conduct. Facebook’s involvement with the group was apparently more intimate.

The SPLC is on a list of “external experts and organizations” that Facebook works with “to inform our hate speech policies,” Facebook spokeswoman Ruchika Budhraja told TheDCNF in June 2018. The company consults with outside organizations when developing changes to hate speech policies, he said at the time.

Budhraja declined to name all the outside groups working with Facebook but confirmed the SPLC’s participation. The SPLC accused Facebook in a May 2018 article of not doing enough to censor anti-Muslim hatred. That article did not disclose the SPLC’s working partnership with Facebook.

Amazon has not responded to TheDCNF’s repeated requests for comment after SPLC fired co-founder Morris Dees on March 13 over “inappropriate conduct.”

(RELATED: Twitter Backs Off Partnership With SPLC Amid Bombshell Reports. Amazon Stays Silent) 

Google was also dinged in 2018 for using the SPLC to assist YouTube in policing content on its platform. The left-wing non-profit group is one of the more than 100 nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and government agencies in YouTube’s “Trusted Flaggers” program, TheDCNF reported in June 2018. Google has also not yet responded to TheDCNF’s requests for information.

The group designated the Family Research Council a “hate group” in 2010 because of its occasional belligerent defense of traditional marriage. Media outlets often rely on the SPLC to craft stories.

CNN, for instance, published the group’s list of 900 hate groups in 2017 under the headline “Here Are All the Hate Groups Active in Your Area,” then was forced to modify the story after conservatives complained that the story effectively conflated conservatives with neo-Nazis. CNN maintains that the SPLC is one of the only groups that monitors hates groups.

Source ~ dailycaller.com/2019/04/15/splc-facebook-conservatives/




PayPal Partners With Far-Left SPLC To Ban Conservatives – David Harris Jr

 

Many times over the past few months we have shared articles regarding social media platforms’ violations of first amendment rights by way of shadowbanning or outright banning of pages they find to be “offensive” (read, “conservative”). One thing all of the social media giants have in common seems to be their preference for liberal and globalist policies, and now we have a report that PayPal is showing similar colors.

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman admitted during an interview with the Wall Street Journal that PayPal works with the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) when it considers blacklisting conservatives.

After being asked by the Wall Street Journal what “values” PayPal identifies with,” Schulman replied, “Probably the most important value to us is diversity and inclusion.”

“I think North Carolina was probably the moment that was the most visible, where we basically said this violates our core value and we need to make a very public stand on it,” claimed Schulman, referencing the time when PayPal pulled out of an investment in North Carolina because the state passed a bill making it mandatory for people to use the bathroom of their biological sex.

“Businesses need to be a force for good in those values and issues that they believe in. It shouldn’t come from backlash or people taking heat on it, because then it’s in response, as opposed to the definition of who you are and then how you react to the context that you find yourself in,” the PayPal CEO expressed, adding that the Charlottesville rally in 2017 was a “defining moment” for PayPal to start blacklisting conservatives.

Schulman claimed it “was a defining moment for us as a company,” that was “difficult,” because, “the line between free speech and hate, nobody teaches it to you in college. Nobody’s defined it in the law.”

During the interview, Schulman also admitted that the far-left SPLC helps to inform “PayPal’s decisions.”

“There are those both on the right and left that help us. Southern Poverty Law Center has brought things. We don’t always agree. We have our debates with them. We are very respectful with everyone coming in. We will do the examination carefully,” Schulman explained. “We’ll talk when we don’t agree with a finding: We understand why you think that way, but it still goes into the realm of free speech for us.”

The SPLC, which also reportedly works with Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Twitter, was forced to pay a $3.3 million settlements to anti-extremists activist Maajid Nawaz last year, after the organization included him on a list of “anti-Muslim extremists,” despite Nawaz being Muslim himself.

The lawsuit victory prompted at least 60 other organizations to also consider lawsuits against the SPLC, and in June, a Washington Post columnist declared the SPLC “has lost all credibility.”

PayPal has blacklisted WikiLeaksInfowars, conservative commentator and Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes, political activist Tommy Robinson, investigative journalist Laura Loomer, blogger Roosh V, free speech social network Gab, YouTube alternative BitChute, and a black metal music label.

Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch, and Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative were also temporarily blacklisted by PayPal, before being reinstated.

Last year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a liberal nonprofit for the defense of free expression and privacy online, expressed concern over payment processors becoming “de facto internet censors.”

“EFF is deeply concerned that payment processors are making choices about which websites can and can’t accept payments or process donations,” declared an EFF spokesman at the time. “This can have a huge impact on what types of speech are allowed to flourish online.”

“We’ve seen examples — such as when WikiLeaks faced a banking blockade — of payment processors and other financial institutions shutting down the accounts of websites engaged in legal but unpopular speech,” the spokesman continued. “I’m deeply concerned that we’re letting banks and payment processors turn into de facto Internet censors.”

Source: Breitbart News

Speaking from a personal viewpoint, I have to say I wish this weren’t true. PayPal has been a convenient way to send money and receive money to family members on occasion, as well as a conduit to make online purchases. Because of how I use it, I’ve never been charged a fee for their services, but one thing is for certain – I am now actively looking for a different way to pay, especially for online items.

Source: PayPal Partners With Far-Left SPLC To Ban Conservatives – David Harris Jr