Parler Might 'Never' Return, CEO Says Amid Reportedly Fleeing Home Over Death Threats

Social media app Parler, which was a favorite amongst far-right figures, might "never" return after going dark in January. In an interview with Reuters, Parler's CEO, John Matze, said that he does not believe that the app will get back online in light of recent events. Following the riot that took place at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 — which involved a mob of President Donald Trump's supporters storming the building — major service providers decided to cut ties with Parler. The service hosted many users who were banned from other social media sites for making posts that encouraged or incited violence.

During a Reuters interview on Wednesday, Matze said that he's not sure when or if Parler will return after several prominent media companies, including Google, Amazon, and Apple, removed the app from their services. He said, when asked when users can expect to see the service back up and running, "It could be never. We don't know yet." He added, after the article was published, “I am an optimist. It may take days, it may take weeks but Parler will return and when we do we will be stronger.” Matze said that they were in discussions with more than one cloud computing service for the Parler app. However, he did not disclose any names as he cited that the companies could be harassed as a result. The CEO said that the best-case scenario for the app would be for it to get back on Amazon.com Inc.

Parler, which reportedly had over 12 million users, filed a lawsuit on Jan. 11 against Amazon's cloud computing division. Their filing came after Amazon cut off Parler, which bills itself as a "free-speech" platform and is favored by Trump's supporters, from its servers over the Jan. 9 weekend. They made the decision after they said that Parler failed to effectively moderate violent content. In their own court filing about the matter, Amazon said that Parler was both unwilling and unable to remove "content that threatens the public safety, such as by inciting and planning the rape, torture, and assassination of named public officials and private citizens."

According to Business Insider, Matze and his family reportedly fled his home after receiving death threats amidst this situation. Matze's lawyer, David Groesbeck, wrote in a court filing on Friday that his client had to "go into hiding with his family after receiving death threats and invasive personal security breaches." This filing was part of the antitrust lawsuit that Parler has brought against Amazon Web services.