Things have been rather quiet over at Parler since it was booted from AWS servers. Quiet, until just this morning when we learned that the social network’s chief executive officer, John Matze has been fired.
Following its booting off of AWS and a failed application for a preliminary injunction, pending a full legal battle, Parler sort of came back online. We say sort of because if you head the Parler URL, you’re met with a static homepage containing Parleys from the likes of Sean Hannity, Rand Paul and Parler itself.
For all intents and purposes, however, Parler is still not online and users can’t access the website.
Which makes the news that John Matze has been fired more understandable.
“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 told Fox Business.
“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 now former CEO added.
Unfortunately Matze didn’t outline why he has been let go stating instead that he will take a few weeks off before pursuing new opportunities.
While Parler’s ongoing inaccessibility is likely a reason for his dismissal, we also have to address the woeful security measures that were put in place.
Shortly before Parler was taken offline by AWS, a hacker began scrapping the social network for data. As it turned out, the hacker uncovered a trove of data including geo-tagged locations and videos.
That data has been used by authorities to bring rioters at the Capitol building to book and ProPublica used the data to create a chronological timeline of the events that unfolded on 6th January.
While Matze maintains that Parler had measures in place to address content moderation, AWS’s response to Parler’s request for a preliminary injunction revealed otherwise.
In that opposition to Parler’s request it was revealed that Parler had allegedly ignored warnings about content that violated AWS’s terms of service.
“This case is not about supressing speech or stifling viewpoints, It is not about a conspiracy to restrain trade. Instead, this case is about Parler’s demonstrated unwillingness and inability to remove from the servers of Amazon Web Services content that threatens the public safety, such as by inciting and planning the rape, torture, and assassination’s of named public officials and private citizens,” Amazon said at the time,
What happens to Parler now is an unknown but we suspect Mercer will want to bring the platform back online sooner rather than later. Whether Parler will be the haven of extremists it was before its woes, is something we simply don’t know the answer to right now.