Parler Being Held to Different Standard Than Twitter, Facebook, CEO Says

Parler Being Held to Different Standard Than Twitter, Facebook, CEO Says
Parler founder and CEO John Matze speaks to The Epoch Times' Jan Jekielek on "American Thought Leaders" in 2019. (Screenshot/The Epoch Times)
Zachary Stieber
Joshua Philipp

The social networking service Parler, which was taken offline following the U.S. Capitol breach, is being held to a different standard than Twitter and Facebook, its CEO told The Epoch Times.

“The standards that we’re held to are higher than that of Facebook and Twitter,” John Matze told The Epoch Times’ “Crossroads” program. “And that is wrong, because that is giving preferential treatment to some clients and some customers and not others. And then abruptly terminating us with what I would call bad faith, and doing it so quickly, that there’s no possible way to remedy and doing it in a way so publicly that it tarnishes our brand, and it doesn’t allow us to get anywhere else.

“They maliciously did this all at the same time, to ruin our reputation and destroy our business. That is evil.”

Parler, a social media website that’s attracted a large following of conservative-leaning users, was removed from Amazon’s servers overnight on Jan. 10. Before that, Apple and Google had removed its application from their app stores.

The companies claim that Parler, which had 20 million users, wasn’t properly moderating its platform.

Parler, which is trying to compel Amazon to take back the company, is in contact with other companies, including the domain registrar Epik. Parler registered with Epik this week but hasn’t reached a formal deal with them. Epik said in a statement on Jan. 14 that it has been in discussions with several executive team members at Parler.

“While we cannot predict what will happen to Parler, we can confirm that the examples utilized to marginalize and ultimately deplatform their active base of millions of users in no way reflect the values of the owners, investors, engineers, community, of the hundreds of moderators that worked tirelessly to serve the people and user base that they loved,” Robert Davis, an Epik senior vice president, said in a statement.

Amazon said in a court filing that Parler showed an “unwillingness and inability to remove from the servers of Amazon Web Services (‘AWS’) content that threatens the public safety, such as by inciting and planning the rape, torture, and assassination of named public officials and private citizens.” Amazon said it told Parler repeatedly that content on its site violated the agreement between the two companies and that the suspension was a “last resort.”
Parler displayed on a smartphone with its website in the background in Arlington, Va., on July 2, 2020. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)
Parler displayed on a smartphone with its website in the background in Arlington, Va., on July 2, 2020. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)
Parler sued Amazon this week after it was removed from its servers. In its response to Amazon’s filing, Parler said Amazon “expressed no concerns with Parler’s content moderation” but did want to know whether President Donald Trump “had joined or would join Parler now that he was blocked by Twitter and Facebook.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook told “CBS This Morning” that he thinks Parler “has some issues with moderation.”

“There are some incitement of violence examples on there,” he said. “They need to step it up on moderation, and our hope is that they get back on the store.”

Google said in a statement it was “aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the U.S.”

Matze told The Epoch Times that his website was a true platform, while competitors Twitter and Facebook are publishers, because of actions such as attaching labels to posts. He also noted that posts encouraging violence are seen on Twitter and Facebook, such as a term calling for hanging Vice President Mike Pence that was trending on Twitter in recent days.

There were “a few cases” of people trying to incite violence on Parler, but there’s no way to organize events on the site, Matze said, labeling attempts to pin the Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol on Parler as “crazy.”

“Every online social media company had violent content concerning that event on that day, including Parler, but including Facebook, including Twitter, including everybody,” he said. “I don’t think it was too different than Facebook or Twitter, you know, the amount of content on there is crazy. And these companies gave them preferential treatment over us.”

Jack Phillips contributed to this report.
Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news. Contact Zachary at [email protected]
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