No, Parler Wasn’t Sold: Who Owns & Created Parler?

Getty Parler has received many new members recently.

Parler is a new social media app that many conservatives and supporters of President Donald Trump have flocked to after the election. Facebook has been flooded with posts by people sharing their new Parler names. But as the numbers increase, rumors increase too. Was Parler recently sold? No, it was not sold. Here’s a look at who owns and created Parler.


Parler Was Not Recently Sold

When more people started joining the app, rumors circulated that it was sold. Some rumors even claimed that former President Barack Obama had purchased Parler. But these rumors are not true.

Parler is a microblogging, social networking site that first was launched in August 2018. It was founded by John Matze and Jared Thomson, Buzzfeed News reported. Matze is currently the CEO.

Matze wrote a post on Parler disputing rumors that the site had been sold.

Parler

He wrote: “The ownership structure of Parler is myself, a small group of close friends and employees. Additionally, Parler has 2 strategic investors. Dan Bongino and Jeffrey Wernick. Parler has NOT been sold These are malicious lies intended to damage and malign the brand of Parler. Anyone claiming otherwise is a hoaxer and most likely acting from malice. This is the length enemies of free speech will go to try to take down the ONLY platform that protects your speech, privacy and data. Parler.”

There are actually quite a few Facebook alternative social media sites that are focused on allowing free speech and privacy. Heavy has interviewed the CEO of one of the alternative sites, Minds, on several occasions.

Matze recently said that he disagreed with Twitter’s warning labels on Trump’s tweets, Newsweek reported. Matze said:

I don’t think it’s possible for Twitter to say with a 100 percent fact that there’s not one mistake in the election and that there is not one fraudulent vote so fact checking the president on all of this is pretty ludicrous. Frankly, I think it’s part of our election process that allows [us] to check the results and re-counts so what they are doing is really interfering with what he is trying to say. People should be able to listen and judge for themselves.

Back in June, a number of left-leaning people signed up for Parler. Matze told Forbes that they were teenagers flooding the site and swamping people with messages unpleasant to conservatives. Matze told Forbes about the influx: “They’re trying to get people to have a bad experience and leave. We’ve got a big army of volunteers to help take care of this. It’s going to be handled within 48 hours.”


Both Matze & Thomson Have Computer Science Degrees

Parler allows users to post with a 1,000-character limit, and others can vote on posts or “echo” them. An echo is similar to a retweet or a Facebook share.

Matze and Thomson, founders of Parler, attended the University of Denver, Buzzfeed News reported. The two are based in Nevada, Newsweek reported. They said they created the site after they were “exhausted with a lack of transparency in big tech [and] ideological suppression.”

According to Matze’s LinkedIn profile, he’s the founder and iOS developer at Parler. Before that, he was the software manager and iOS developer for CarePICS, a software engineer for Amazon Web Services (AWS), a lead iOS developer for BridgeSTOR, and a software engineer for General Atomics. He graduated with a bachelor’s in computer science from the University of Denver in 2014.

His “about” section on LinkedIn reads:

Software engineer who runs a social media startup company. Skilled in Flutter/Dart, Objective-C, Mobile Applications, Software design, scalable server architecture and software team management. Strong business development professional with a BS focused in Computer Science from University of Denver. Previous professional experience in top 10 tech, defense, and multiple successful startups.

Thomson is listed on his LinkedIn profile as the founder, CTO, and backend software engineer for Parler. He was previously a software engineer at CarePICS, a software development intern at Travelport, and an owner/programmer at Base10 Technology Solutions. He graduated with a bachelor’s in mathematics and computer science from the University of Denver in 2015 and a master’s in computer science from the University of Denver in 2015.

On Parler’s app, Alexander Blair is listed as the Chief Technology Officer for the site. Thomson’s Parler page lists him as the Founder and Director of Server Development at Parler.


Dan Bongino Has an ‘Ownership Stake’ in Parler

In June, Dan Bongino announced on his website that he has an ownership stake in Parler. He wrote, in part:

I’ve decided it’s time to fight back against the Tech Tyrants. I’m beyond fed up with the censorship and bias of Twitter and Facebook and I’m not going to stand back and watch as they target us. As a result, I’ve taken an ownership stake in Parler, the hottest social media alternative in the market right now.

Parler and I share common values. We are resolutely committed to free speech, and the marketplace of ideas.

We hope you join us in this fight against the Tech Tyrants by opening an account on Parler…

Bongino is a conservative political commentator and radio show host. He was a former police officer with the NYPD and former Secret Service agent. He served on the Presidential Protective Division during George W. Bush’s second term and in Barack Obama’s term until he left in 2011 to run for Senate. Bongino ran for Congress as a Republican in 2012, 2014, and 2016. In 2018 he announced that he was devoting his entire life to “owning the libs,” The Daily Beast reported. He shared a defense of that stance on his website in October 2018.

Bongino has also been referring people to Rumble.com to watch his videos, Buzzfeed News reported. Rumble is a YouTube competitor.


Jeffrey Wernick Said He Invested in Parler for ‘Liberty’

Jeffrey Wernick has also invested in Parler. His bio on Fox News describes him as an early adopter of Bitcoin, a seed investor, and an angel investor.

He wrote on Fox Business: “And so, I have spent time, talent, and treasure to launch a series of strategic investments in companies that are building an alternative ecosystem to the tech oligarchs. Parler is one of those companies. They share both my values and my vision. Parler understands that there is no threat the tech tyrants pose that is more dire than to our freedom of speech.”

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