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