Parler CEO John Matze said Monday that he is getting death threats and “can’t go home tonight” after his social media company was removed from the Google Play Store, Apple’s App Store and removed from Amazon’s web hosting services.
“I’ve seen a lot of people say this is scary, but I’ve also seen a lot of people who are participating in the five minutes of hate and kind of egging it on and cheering,” Matze told Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“It is disgusting. People threatening my life. I can’t go home tonight. So this is really a lot, you know. This is not just, you know, our civil liberties. They can shut down a … half a billion dollar company … overnight.” (RELATED: Twitter’s Jack Dorsey Ripped For Tweet That Seemed To Mock Parler’s Deplatforming)
Parler was a powerful alternative to Twitter even before its popularity spiked after President Trump had his Twitter account pulled and the social media giant began a huge purge of other conservative accounts. Both Apple and Google then banished the Parler app from their sites Saturday and Amazon quickly followed suit by declaring that it would no longer host Parler after midnight Sunday.
Matze told Tucker Carlson that he had “theorized” about being dropped by Amazon. “You just never think it will happen though, right?” He said he found it “really interesting” that the actions against his company all occurred on the same day and “without any prior warning.”
“We had … almost 7 million unique people on the app that day,” Matze recalled, adding that he heard some of the bad news first from media reports.
“We read it online in the news first. That is shocking. And then after they set that example, you know, we get email after email. It’s almost like you’re just waiting, who’s going to be next dumping us?”
Matze predicted Parler would lose its email provider as well “within 24 hours.”
But the CEO promised to fight back. “We will be back up eventually because we’re not going to give up. But soon is difficult, you know,” he said, adding that he is having trouble finding a new server because just when he thinks he has finalized the deal it falls through because the prospective vendor tells him, “Someone said something: we can’t host you.”
Matze said that experience has been repeated several times but he remains optimistic about coming back. (RELATED: Michelle Obama Calls On Big Tech Companies To ‘Permanently’ Ban Trump)
“So we’re going to do it. We’re going to be back online one day. And hopefully soon, as soon as possible. But this is a real challenge. We have to build our own infrastructure — our own everything in order to do it.”
In explaining its decision to remove Parler from its app store, Apple maintained that it has “always supported diverse points of view being represented” but said in a statement that Parler had contravened Apple’s content policy by allowing “threats of violence and illegal activity,” according to the New York Times. “Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety.”