- Parler’s former CEO is looking to crowdfund his legal fees.
- John Matze’s time at Parler came to an end earlier this year.
- He says he was forced out by the board, including the conservative mega-donor Rebekah Mercer.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The former CEO of Parler, John Matze, announced Thursday that he had launched a GoFundMe page to support legal fees “associated with [his] departure from Parler.”
“I also am likely heading into a Congressional investigation into Parler, and it is uncertain whether Parler will indemnify me for the inevitable costs of defending this investigation,” Matze wrote on the GoFundMe page. The right-wing social media app is embroiled in a Congressional investigation following the January attacks on the US Capitol.
Matze said he will use the funds to cover legal fees related to the Congressional inquiry, security costs, travel expenses associated with any hearings, and “repayment for any legal fees associated with defense and prosecution of ongoing litigation and negotiations.”
Matze’s fundraising page has a $150,000 goal, and had raised over $3,000 as of Thursday afternoon.
Matze’s departure from Parler was acrimonious. He said that he was fired out by the company’s board, namely mega-donor Rebekah Mercer, Insider reported.
In March, Insider reported that Matze was suing Parler over his departure and accusing the company of taking his 40% ownership stake. Insider reported that the lawsuit claimed Matze was ousted after he said the platform should have more stringent content-moderation policies.
Parler was removed from the Apple and Google app stores in January following reports that some of its users had organized the attacks on the Capitol on the platform, which is often used by far-right and right-wing members. After the app stores removed Parler, Amazon Web Services also stopped providing hosting services, forcing the platform offline.
Insider also reported that after Amazon Web Services took the site offline, a new host took over and the site is back up, though the app is still unavailable on the Google and Apple app stores.