Parler CEO John Matze Calls Twitter 'Cowardly Authoritarians' for Blocking Donald Trump

The founder of Parler, a social network favored by conservatives, criticised Twitter on Wednesday after the platform made the unprecedented move of restricting Donald Trump's account, leaving him unable to post for 12 hours.

John Matze, who co-founded Parler in 2018, said in a status update on his social network that the block on the president was made by "cowardly authoritarians," but didn't immediately mention that similar steps had been taken by Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

The mainstream platforms moved to silence Trump's profiles temporarily as he released a video in which he described a mob of his supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol as "very special" while doubling down on false claims of election fraud.

Matze wrote on Parler: "The cowardly authoritarians at Twitter booted president Trump from Twitter for 12 hours. What a bunch of cowards." Analytics suggested the post was viewed over 350,000 times and had attracted more than 1,300 comments.

Parler bosses pitched the site as an alternative to Twitter focused on free speech and it has gained support from conservative media personalities and Republican politicians such as Senator Ted Cruz, Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Rep. Devin Nunes.

Twitter confirmed on Wednesday that it had removed three posts by the president because of "repeated and severe" policy violations. It locked the account for 12 hours and said it would remain blocked unless the offending tweets were removed.

It added: "Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our civic integrity or violent threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of [Trump's] account."

Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account.

— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 7, 2021

Facebook, which last year appeared reluctant to remove the president's status updates, went even further on Wednesday, confirming that Trump's page would be blocked for 24 hours, during which time he would not be able to post anything.

Executives from the Mark Zuckerberg-owned site said the policy-breaking Trump video, which remains in circulation, would be removed from Facebook and Instagram.

"We made the decision that on balance these posts contribute to, rather than diminish, the risk of ongoing violence," said Guy Rosen, VP of integrity and Monika Bickert, VP of global policy management, in a blog post calling the Capitol siege an emergency.

This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump's video. We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.

— Guy Rosen (@guyro) January 6, 2021

YouTube also took steps to remove the Trump video. However, it remains on the site as it was clipped and re-published by multiple legitimate news publications.

Today, Parler's Matze posted a Fox News article from May that cited Zuckerberg as saying Facebook should not be the "arbiter of truth" of online discussions.

Matze wrote: "So is he going to condemn Facebook for suspending him [Donald Trump] today? When one company bans or suspends they all do ... kinda like they coordinate or talk with each other."

For now, the president's social media feeds remain silent.

Donald Trump "Stop The Steal" Rally
Donald Trump speaks at the "Stop the Steal" Rally on January 6 in Washington, D.C.. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory. Tasos Katopodis/Getty