Big Tech giants Amazon, Apple and Google gave no indication to upstart social media platform Parler until the very last moment that their threats to pull the plug were “deadly serious,” Parler CEO John Matze told “Life, Liberty & Levin” in an interview airing Sunday night.
The weekend following the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, Parler was booted off Google Play and the Apple App Store. Soon after, Amazon Web Services disconnected Parler from its servers after giving just 24 hours notice. Parler is now suing Amazon in federal court.
“It’s very, very interesting that they all, on the exact same day without previously indicating, they never indicated to us that there was any serious or material problem with our app,” Matze told host Mark Levin. “But on the same day, you know, all on the same day, they send us these very threatening notices.
“So we said, ‘OK, let’s call this. Let’s see what you know, let’s see what Google said. Oh, they actually never emailed us and we have no way to contact them,'” he added. “OK, so Google is out. Apple … we called our rep, and they basically shrugged it off and made no indication that this was deadly serious, despite … their email being very serious.
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“And Amazon, as usual, [was] basically saying, ‘Oh, I never saw any material problems. There’s no issues.’ You know, they were played it off very nonchalantly. And so we had still even, you know, on the 8th and the 9th, you know, we had no real indication that this was, you know, deadly serious.”
Amazon has said it told Parler repeatedly that content on the site violated the two companies’ agreement. Suspension was a “last resort” to block access to violent content, Amazon Web Services said in a response to the Parler lawsuit, “including plans for violence to disrupt the impending Presidential transition.”
Parler is seeking a temporary restraining order to keep Amazon Web Services from blackballing Parler. It claims AWS is violating the Sherman Antitrust Act in the filing, pointing out that AWS has an agreement with competitor Twitter. Amazon has said that Parler demonstrated an “unwillingness and inability” to remove violent content from its site.
According to Matze, Parler was the fastest-growing social media platform in the first days of 2021.
On some of the last days before we got the ax from Amazon Web Services, we had almost almost a million new accounts created on that last day,” he said. “We were number one on the App Store. We were above Facebook, we were above TikTok, we were above YouTube, above Instagram, above every app on the App Store in the United States. We were number one before we got the ax.”
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What’s more, the CEO said, Parler’s business model had been proven to work.
“You know, our ads were not intrusive. We were not using data to kind of predict people or mine people’s data,” Matze said. “We were presenting ads in a very what I like to describe as humane way so that we were doing what I think is best for ads, which is respecting people’s privacy. We were making tremendous amounts of revenue from organic small businesses and helping them out. And so we’ve proved our model. We proved our growth in the marketplace.”
FOX Business’ Evie Fordham contributed to this report.