The CEO of free-speech app Parler has reportedly fled his home due to death threats amid what his lawyers call a “vilification” effort by Amazon. The tech giant accused the platform of allowing violent content before dropping it.
In a court filing on Friday, Parler, embroiled in a legal battle with Amazon over its move to abruptly terminate its relationship with the app, has asked for privacy protections for its employees, alleging that they have been exposed to abuse and a torrent of threats due to Amazon’s much-publicized accusations against the company.
The motion cites Parler CEO John Matze’s declaration that “many Parler employees are suffering harassment and hostility, fear for their safety and that of their families, and in some cases have fled their home state to escape persecution.”
Matze, who recently admitted that Parlier might be waging a losing battle in its bid to go back online, was not an exception, and had to flee fearing for his and his family’s well-being, according to the filing.
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Matze himself, as the CEO of the company AWS continues to vilify, has had to leave his home and go into hiding with his family after receiving death threats and invasive personal security breaches.
Citing “the highly charged nature of this public and polarizing dispute” with Amazon, Parler asked the court to seal employees’ personal information, the firm’s correspondence with Amazon, as well as a “screenshot of a tweet from Ashli Babbitt’s account.”
Babbitt, an Air Force veteran, was killed by US Capitol Police when a pro-Trump crowd stormed Congress as it gathered to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory on January 6. The riot, which Democrats and part of the Republican establishment have blamed on Trump’s post-election rhetoric, left a total of five people dead.
On Monday, Matze told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that he was afraid to go home due to the avalanche of threats he has been bombarded with following the events of January 6 and after Amazon argued that his company failed to curb hate speech on the platform.
In previous court filings, Parler argued that while the company did face a massive backlog of 26,000 posts that were waiting to be moderated shortly before Amazon severed ties with the site, it was due to an influx of users fleeing Twitter and Facebook in the wake of Trump’s social media bans. Parler insisted that it cleared up the backlog over the next few days, removing “all but some 1,000 problematic posts” by Sunday – but that did not stop Amazon from terminating service that very day.