Death threats force Parler CEO, family into hiding amid ‘highly divisive dispute’ with Amazon

Amazon’s “false accusations have incited a virtual mob and presented a risk to my family, our employees, and their families,” said Parler CEO John Matze.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Parler CEO John Matze and his family have left their home and gone into hiding due to death threats resulting from his company’s “highly charged” dispute with Amazon Web Services (AWS), which abruptly kicked Parler off its web servers after the Capitol riot earlier this month.

“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,” Parler said in a motion filed in U.S. district court on Friday.

The motion seeks to redact from exhibits the names and identifying information of employees of both Parler and AWS to protect these individuals from unwanted and potentially dangerous harassment.

“Parler’s company and employees have developed well-founded concerns for their safety and well-being as many of them have been harassed and threatened in the aftermath of both AWS’s highly publicized rejection of Parler from its online hosting services and the instant lawsuit which followed,” Parler said.

In a declaration filed with the court on Wednesday, Matze said, “Multiple members of Parler’s team have come to me expressing both fear for their career and fear for their lives and potentially bodily harm due to the press surrounding AWS’s claims.”

“Many employees want to resign due to the strain and pressure they feel, fearing hostility towards our company and fearing for their own safety,” he said.

Matze said that many of his employees are being harassed, and some have had to cancel their phone numbers, and family members’ phone numbers, due to the harassment.

“Some have gone so far as to leave their home state to escape,” he said, adding, “I have left my home to go somewhere safe.”

“Via messages on LinkedIn, Twitter, and email, I have received many recent threats of violence. Though most have presented no imminent threat of danger, I have seen one particular group with a history of committing murder doxing my home street on Twitter with threat accusations lobbed against me, as well as others circulating my personal passwords,” Matze said.

“AWS’s false accusations have incited a virtual mob and presented a risk to my family, our employees, and their families,” he said.

Matze said he believes AWS’s decision to terminate service to Parler was based on a desire to deny President Donald Trump a platform on social media.

He said that the AWS representative assigned to Parler was a Joe Biden supporter and that this representative was privy to inside information that Trump was considering a move to Parler.

“And in fact, AWS’s termination of Parler has had the effect of denying a large social-media platform to Trump, even while protecting a large customer—Twitter—from the increased competition that would have resulted if Trump had moved to Parler,” Matze said.