Parler’s CEO fled his home after receiving death threats

  • Parler CEO John Matze Jr. and his family have fled their homes after receiving death threats, a new court filing says. 
  • Parler was recently removed from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, and Amazon Web Services stopped hosting the platform after it deemed Parler a “risk to public safety.”
  • Trump supporters flocked to the platform after the president was banned from Twitter following the siege at the Capitol on January 6. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Parler CEO John Matze Jr. fled his home receiving death threats, a lawyer for Matze said in a court filing on Friday. 

The attorney, David Groesbeck, wrote in the document that Matze had to “go into hiding with his family after receiving death threats and invasive personal security breaches.” The filing was part of  Parler’s antitrust lawsuit against Amazon Web Services to put the platform back online.

The current filing aimed to seal parts of the suit filed as a safety measure. 

Amazon Web Services stopped hosting Parler after it said the platform had violent content that was tied to the January 6 siege at the US Capitol. In its own court filing last week, Amazon alleged 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.”

Supporters of President Donald Trump breached the building and clashed with law enforcement, halting the joint session of Congress as lawmakers were debating challenges to electoral votes.

Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer and a woman who was shot by law-enforcement officials while participating in the riot.

Trump’s Twitter account was subsequently suspended and conservatives urged their followers to join Parler afterward. The app jumped to No. 1 on Apple’s App Store before the company pulled it. Google also yanked Parler from its store.

AWS said Parler “poses a very real risk to public safety,” when it stopped hosting it. 

In the Friday court filing, Groesbeck didn’t specify who was threatening Matze, but said his position “as the CEO of the company AWS continues to vilify,” put him in danger. 

Bloomberg reported earlier this week that Amazon said Parler users were threatening their staff. 

“Both sides of this dispute have shown that their employees have suffered real harassment and threats—including, on both sides, death threats—owing to the charged nature of this litigation,” Groesbeck said in his filing. 

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