Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee, is demanding information from the alternative social media company Parler with regards to its finances, as reported by The Hill.
Maloney sent a letter to the tech company baselessly accusing Parler of having a role in the organization of the mostly peaceful protests that took place at the United States Capitol on January 6th. In the letter, she claims that “numerous Parler users have been arrested and charged for their roles, with the Department of Justice citing in several instances the threats that individuals made through Parler.”
Parler, which promoted itself as a free-speech alternative to Big Tech platforms like Twitter and Facebook, which have frequently censored and banned conservatives for their political views, was shut down by their rivals in the aftermath of the Capitol protests. Google and Apple removed the Parler app from their stores, while Amazon shut off their servers which were hosting Parler, thus taking the site completely offline for several weeks. Proponents of the website, including political commentator Dan Bongino, have claimed that Parler will be back online soon, though the website still does not work.
Maloney further claimed in her letter, falsely, that Parler “repeatedly failed to moderate content advocating violence,” and baselessly accused Parler of having “ties to the Russian government.” Although Parler has in recent days utilized a Russian company called DDoS-Guard to protect against coordinated “denial-of-service” attacks, Parler’s exact hosting service has not yet been identified.
Parler has undergone tumultuous changes in its leadership in recent weeks, with the company’s board voting to remove the founding CEO John Matze, who publicly disagreed with the decision to remove him. Maloney’s letter was addressed to the company’s COO Jeffrey Wernick, and asked for a list of everyone who has some ownership of the platform, and for any proof of the company’s alleged ties to Russian entities or individuals.