Parler founder and CEO John Matze and Substack co-founder and CEO Chris Best condemned big tech’s recent decisions to de-platform conservatives and alternative websites such as Parler, calling it dangerous and saying it only adds fuel to the fire.
“I was assured from our rep that they would never do something like that. It’s not in writing; it was over telephone conversations. But I felt really confident,” Matze said on Thursday’s episode of “The Megyn Kelly Show.” “I used to be an Amazon Web Services employee. I know the staff there, they felt very open-minded to me. It was very shocking to know that my former co-workers even did this to us. It’s worse than just having us taken offline too because, yes, you can’t access Parler, but we can’t even access our own code right now.”
Google and Apple were the first to target Parler, removing the app from their mobile stores just last week. Shortly thereafter, Amazon Web Services booted Parler as a customer, completely shutting down the website’s functions. Not only did Amazon drop the free speech site, but Parler’s backup data center also kicked the company to the curb.
“We lost a lot of communication. Our Parler jury who oversees the platform and makes sure that violent content doesn’t get out and makes sure that these things don’t happen — the things that they’re accusing us of, the group that actually organizes to stop that — the messaging service that we use to talk with them also dropped us,” Matze said. “So we don’t have any contact with our 600 jurors anymore. Even if we wanted to contact them, we can’t access our servers because Amazon shut them off.”
Despite the setbacks, Matze said Parler is going to make a comeback.
“What they’ve done is devastating. We’re going to overcome it. I would hate to describe Parler as done because we’re not. We’re gonna come back. When somebody does evil, you don’t let them get away with it,” Matze concluded.
Later in the episode, Best weighed in on the conversation, saying he doesn’t think de-platforming people and competitors is the answer to the problem.
“I don’t think that we should be having people shut down people’s servers and all that stuff. I think that way lies madness,” Best said. “This is sort of the reason we started Substack. The reason we started this company is I kind of feel like the place we’re at now is a necessary consequence of the way that the internet and our reading habits and the incentive structure within media has been pushing the whole discourse for the past sort of decade.”
Best also noted that this groupthink and cancel culture that occurs on both the left and right is a precarious and dangerous situation for the nation.
“Any incendiary take that can exist, will eventually exist. The truth gets devalued. It completely breaks our ability to see our own society and understand it, because you’re always seeing the craziest takes from everybody that you see as your enemies, and you get this funhouse-mirror view of society where everybody that’s not on my team is completely crazy,” Best said. “It breeds this place of craziness that no individual moderation decision or rule about a company kicking people off or not, none of that’s going to help unless we can rewrite the rules of how we’re having these conversations.”