Parler CEO fired as service remains offline: Here’s everything you need to know

Trump’s reelection marketing campaign joined the social media app Parler in 2018.


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The head of Parler, a social media platform that was compelled offline for permitting inflammatory posts concerning the Capitol Hill rebellion, was fired by the corporate’s board, elevating query as to when the right-wing social media platform shall be up and operating once more.

In a Wednesday publish on LinkedIn, John Matze acknowledged he had been terminated, and linked to a narrative that quoted from a memo he had despatched to workers.

“On January 29, 2021, the Parler board controlled by Rebekah Mercer decided to immediately terminate my position as CEO of Parler. I did not participate in this decision,” Matze informed workers in a memo obtained by Fox News. “I understand that those who now control the company have made some communications to employees and other third parties that have unfortunately created confusion and prompted me to make this public statement.”

The administration ouster comes as the Twitter various, which had change into a haven for racist and extremist content material, remains unavailable to customers. Parler was booted offline in January, when Amazon Web Services lower providers to it, a transfer that adopted choices by Apple and Google to cease distributing the social community’s cellular apps. The conservative microblogging web site sued to have its service restored. 

The strikes by tech giants to distance themselves from Parler got here after issues grew that the service might be used to promote extra violence within the wake of the Jan. 6 assault on the US Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump, who whipped them up at a rally. Both Twitter and Facebook blocked Trump’s account as a result of they’re involved the president’s remarks might spark extra violence. 

Talk of weapons and violence was widespread in Parler discussions forward of the occasion, which was organized to help the president’s baseless claims the November election had been stolen from him.

One Parler consumer on a thread pushing a QAnon conspiracy concept stated, “by all the Patriots descending on Washington DC on #jan6 ….come armed….”

Another expletive-laced message posted the day earlier than the riot warned: “To all our enemies high and low you want a war? Well you’re asking for one…To the American people on the ground in DC today and all over this great nation, be prepared for anything.”

Parler had grown in recognition with right-wing customers amid allegations that Twitter, Facebook and different social networks harbor anti-conservative bias. (The social networks have denied these costs.) From Jan. 6 to 10, Parler was downloaded 997,000 instances throughout Apple’s App Store and Google Play, which was greater than 10 instances the downloads the app generated from Jan. 1 to 5, in accordance to cellular app analytics firm Sensor Tower. Before Parler was taken offline, the app was downloaded greater than 11 million instances because it launched, with a lot of the installs (9 million) coming from the US. 

In November, high-profile conservatives urged others to be a part of Parler after main information shops projected Joe Biden’s victory. “Twitter has aided the Democrat Party in stealing this election and now everything Trump says is being silenced. Tell everyone you know to get on Parler,” far-right provocateur Laura Loomer informed her greater than 687,000 followers on Parler. (Loomer has been banned by each Twitter and Facebook for violating their guidelines.)

Loomer is simply one of many hundreds of thousands of people that’ve just lately sought refuge with Parler, which calls itself a nonbiased, free speech-driven platform. Republicans such as Sen. Ted Cruz from Texas had been selling the app since Twitter began making use of labels final yr to Trump’s tweets that falsely claimed fraud with mail-in ballots or that the corporate stated glorified violence. 

Here’s what you need to know about Parler.

What is Parler?

Launched in 2018, Parler is a social media app created by University of Denver graduates Matze and Jared Thomson. They got here up with Parler as a result of they had been “exhausted with a lack of transparency in big tech, ideological suppression and privacy abuse,” in accordance to Parler’s web site

The personal firm relies in Henderson, Nevada, and has between 11 and 50 workers, in accordance to LinkedIn. Parler means “to talk” in French and is supposed to be pronounced as PAR-lay. But as extra individuals began saying the app’s title just like the English phrase “parlor,” that pronunciation took over.

The social community has the same really feel to Twitter. You observe accounts, and content material seems in a chronological information feed. Users can publish up to 1,000 characters, which is greater than Twitter’s 280-character restrict, and may add images, GIFs and memes. 

You also can touch upon a publish and seek for hashtags. There’s a function known as “echo,” with a megaphone icon, that features just like the Twitter retweet button, and there is an upvote icon for a function that resembles “liking” a publish on different social media platforms. As with different social networks, you have to be at the least 13 years outdated to join an account.

Who makes use of Parler?

Matze informed Fox Business in June that Parler is utilized by principally conservatives however that there have additionally been “left-leaning individuals” tied to the Black Lives Matter motion who’ve joined the app to “argue with conservatives.” He additionally informed CNBC that very same month that he does not need the app to be an echo chamber for conservatives, noting that he does not like both the Democratic or Republican celebration.

“The whole company was never intended to be a pro-Trump thing,” Matze informed CNBC. “A lot of the audience is pro-Trump. I don’t care. I’m not judging them either way.”

If you be a part of, Parler asks on your e mail and telephone quantity, but it surely does not ask on your political celebration. It additionally does not model itself as a social community for conservatives. 

But the community boasts a who’s who of conservative voices. Former US Rep. Ron Paul from Texas; Trump’s marketing campaign; Loomer; and Republican US Rep. Devin Nunes from California are on the app. So are conservative commentator Candace Owens and far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who was banned from each Facebook and Twitter. Right-wing information websites such as Breitbart News, The Epoch Times and The Daily Caller even have Parler accounts.

When you be a part of the app, Parler recommends a number of conservative customers to observe, however there are no liberal ones — possible as a result of they have not joined the app or do not have a big following.

There are a number of faux accounts for lawmakers, together with one for Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 

Why are extra conservatives becoming a member of the app?

Conservatives have alleged for years that social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook are suppressing their speech. These firms have repeatedly denied doing so, saying they’ve guidelines towards hate speech and inciting violence that apply to all customers. 

The allegations from conservatives have solely gotten louder after Twitter and Facebook final week labeled Trump’s tweets that included misinformation about voter fraud. When Trump falsely claimed there that he received re-election over the weekend and there have been hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots despatched to individuals who by no means requested them, Twitter added a label underneath his tweet stating that the “claim about election fraud is disputed.” Facebook added a distinct label under the identical remarks by Trump. The discover said that Biden was the projected winner of the US presidential election. 

Around the time of the election, there have been reviews that Trump’s marketing campaign was trying to appeal to extra followers to Parler, drumming up extra publicity for it. And politicians such as Nunes urged others to be a part of. Last yr, Nunes sued Twitter and three Twitter customers, together with one satirically posing as Nunes’ cow, over defamation allegations, however a choose dismissed the social community from the lawsuit.

How is Parler completely different from Twitter and Facebook?

Parler has fewer guidelines than Twitter and Facebook over what it permits on its community. Users can report a publish for violating Parler’s insurance policies, however the firm does not have third-party fact-checkers and does not label misinformation.

Some of the content material that is barred on Parler, although, is allowed on Twitter. For instance, Parler’s guidelines prohibit pornography, however Twitter lets customers share “consensually produced adult content” in the event that they mark the media as “sensitive.” Facebook does not permit customers to publish photos of sexual exercise.

Parler’s consumer base of greater than 12 million individuals can also be a fraction of the variety of individuals on Facebook and Twitter. Facebook has greater than 2.7 billion month-to-month energetic customers. Twitter, which stopped reporting the variety of month-to-month customers, has 187 million customers who log in to the social community day by day and are in a position to see advertisements. Some individuals view tweets, together with ones embedded in information articles, with out logging in to the location.

Parler additionally has different-colored verification badges. A gold badge, for instance, is for public figures with a big following, and a pink badge signifies that the account is an actual particular person and never a bot. Parler has guidelines towards spam, which embody “repetitive comments and posts which are irrelevant to the conversation.”

Though Parler says it’s going to by no means promote or share consumer knowledge, its privateness coverage states that it might use the info it collects for promoting and advertising. Matze informed CNBC in July that the social community plans to become profitable from advertisements however that “advertisers will goal influencers and people individuals with a big attain.”

Can customers say something they need on Parler?

No. Parler, like different social networks, has an inventory of guidelines that customers agree to after they be a part of the location. Parler does not permit terrorists, spam, unsolicited advertisements, pornography, threats to hurt, blackmail, and content material that glorifies violence towards animals. 

The web site does not have guidelines towards hate speech, but it surely does have insurance policies towards obscene content material, that means content material that is sexual in nature, offensive and lacks “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.”

The firm’s consumer settlement additionally says that the location could take away any content material or bar a consumer’s entry “at any time and for any reason or no reason” however that the location “endeavors to allow all free speech that is lawful and does not infringe the legal rights of others.”

Users who joined Parler to mess with followers of Trump took to Twitter to complain they’d been booted from the platform.

In June, Matze stated in a publish on Parler that you cannot “spam” others in feedback with “unrelated comments” that embody profanity or threats to kill somebody.

“If ever in doubt, ask yourself if you would say it in the streets of New York or national television,” he wrote. 

Users also can mute or block different accounts, like on Twitter and Facebook.

Would Trump abandon Twitter and Facebook for Parler?

It had appeared unlikely, however issues at the moment are in flux. On Friday, Twitter completely suspended Trump’s private @actualDonaldTrump account, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence.” Facebook, in the meantime, blocked Trump’s account “indefinitely.”

Twitter and Facebook have a a lot larger attain than Parler. Trump’s marketing campaign has a Parler account, @StaffTrump, with greater than 2.2 million followers. The marketing campaign had 2.3 million followers on Twitter — that account additionally has now been suspended — and a pair of million followers on Facebook. 

Trump’s private account had an excellent larger viewers on Twitter, with 89 million followers. On Facebook, he has 34 million followers. 

In May, whereas signing an government order meant to curtail authorized protections social media firms get for content material posted by customers, the president was requested if he’d take into account deleting his Twitter account.

Trump stated he makes use of social media to push again towards what he described as unfair media protection and famous that the variety of followers he has on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is greater than the attain that media firms have. 

“I put something out and the next day or the next hour or the next minute everybody’s reading about it,” he stated.

Trump added that he thinks he’d be hurting Twitter “very badly” if he did not use the platform anymore and that he’d shut down the corporate if he discovered a authorized means to achieve this. 

“We have other sites we could use, I guess,” Trump stated.

Trump's reelection marketing campaign joined the social media app Parler in 2018.


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Andrew Morse and Steve Musil contributed to this report.