Parler Sued by Former CEO John Matze

"iPhone" (CC BY 2.0) by Mickyboyc

Last month, Parler officially came back online after being shut down for several weeks. The temporary offline stint for Parler happened when Amazon pulled its web services from Parler following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. 

“iphone” (CC BY 2.0) by Lieutenant Pol

Big tech determined that Parler apparently lacked the proper content moderation policies; others charged that violence at the Capitol could be traced back to users on Parler. However, this same standard against talk of violence on social media has not been applied to other big tech companies like Twitter and Facebook. 

During Parler’s time offline, several changes happened in order to bring the site back on the web. One of these changes involved firing then-CEO John Matze and replacing him with Mark Meckle. 

However, this week, Matze launched a lawsuit against Parler, as Newsmax confirms. 

What to Know About Matze’s Lawsuit Against Parler

John Matze is both the former CEO and co-founder of Parler. In his lawsuit against the conservative-friendly platform, Matze accuses Parler executives of wrongly stealing his 40% ownership stake in the company; the former CEO furthermore maintains that a conspiracy against him existed, hence resulting in his termination. 

Rebekah Mercer and Jeffrey Wernick, both co-owners and investors in Parler, are also named in Matze’s lawsuit. At this time, both Mercer and Wernick are accused of allegedly intimidating and threatening Matze out of his legal rights to Parler. 

According to the lawyer of the former CEO, the lawsuit against Parler has a series of purposes. These purposes are to “vindicate” Matze’s rights and also to obtain punitive and compensatory damages aligned with his allegations. 

Finally, after Parler’s offline stint, Matze reportedly suggested banning far-right and extremist groups from the platform. The former CEO maintains that “dead silence” only followed this suggestion. According to Matze, Mercer’s involvement with Parler morphed the site from a free speech platform to a platform focused on “personal political interests” and particular benefits. 

What Really Happened with Matze’s Firing? 

To the public, the details surrounding Matze’s firing are unclear. The former CEO has one version of events that significantly differs from Parler executives. 

At this time, Parler has not released a statement on the lawsuit that Matze filed against them this week. This chapter marks another interesting point in the Parler saga. Thus far, however, the site remains active, online, and readily available for people to use. 

What do you think about the lawsuit against Parler? Let us know in the comments section below.