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How libertarian Parler CEO married Russian before founding platform

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 1/10/2021 Lauren Fruen For Dailymail.com
a group of people posing for the camera: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

John Matze founded Parler in 2018 as a 'free-speech driven' alternative to mainstream platforms. 

The self described libertarian soon began courting right-leaning users as prominent supporters of Donald Trump moved there.

And Parler had been the leading candidate for the president to continuing voicing his opinion, at least until Google and Apple removed it from their app stores and Amazon decided to boot it off its web hosting service Sunday. 

Not much it known about Matze's personal life but he is reported to have married Russian Alina Mukhutdinova after the pair are said to have met in Las Vegas.

She was said to have been on a two week road trip around the United States, TED Talk host Dave Troy reported in November.  

Alina's Instagram pictures show the couple have at least one child. In one picture she hold rifles and wears a t-shirt which reads: 'Trust me, I'm a Russian spy.' 

The couple appear to live a luxury lifestyle with numerous vacation pictures taken with their young child. 

a person standing next to a body of water posing for the camera: John Matze founded Parler in 2018 as a 'free-speech driven' alternative to mainstream platforms. He is pictured with his family © Provided by Daily Mail John Matze founded Parler in 2018 as a 'free-speech driven' alternative to mainstream platforms. He is pictured with his family a person holding a baseball bat: Not much it known about Matze's personal life but he is reported to have married Russian Alina Mukhutdinova, pictured, after the pair are said to have met in Las Vegas © Provided by Daily Mail Not much it known about Matze's personal life but he is reported to have married Russian Alina Mukhutdinova, pictured, after the pair are said to have met in Las Vegas

After graduating in 2014 Matze, who studied math, German and business at the University of Denver,teamed up with fellow alumni Jared Thomson, now chief technical officer, to create Parler. 

Matze told Forbes in July last year: 'I don't have too many friends, but the ones I do have, we just talk amongst ourselves about ideas—crazy ones, easy ones, whatever.' 

He told the magazine he 'does not watch TV' but instead 'gets everything off Parler'. 

a man standing in front of a television screen: Alina shared this image of her husband appearing on Fox News to her Instagram account © Provided by Daily Mail Alina shared this image of her husband appearing on Fox News to her Instagram account One of Alina's Instagram picture shows her promoting her husband's app Parler © Provided by Daily Mail One of Alina's Instagram picture shows her promoting her husband's app Parler

Matze's app is now bankrolled by hedge-fund investor Robert Mercer's daughter Rebekah, the Wall Street Journal reported in November. 

The two-year-old magnet for the far right claims more than 12 million users, though mobile app analytics firm Sensor Tower puts the number at 10 million worldwide, with 8 million in the U.S. 

Rebekah has described herself as a co-founder of the site with Matze. She is also thought to have studied at the University of Denver.  

Robert Mercer, Kirsty Dillon posing for the camera: Hedge-fund investor Robert Mercer is pictured with his daughter Rebekah in 2017 © Provided by Daily Mail Hedge-fund investor Robert Mercer is pictured with his daughter Rebekah in 2017

'John and I started Parler to provide a neutral platform for free speech, as our founders intended, and also to create a social media environment that would protect data privacy,' she wrote in a post on the site this fall.

'The ever increasing tyranny and hubris of our tech overlords demands that someone lead the fight against data mining, and for the protection of free speech online,' she added. 

Matze replied to the post: 'Bekah is a great friend, an American patriot, and most importantly committed to the Parler vision of neutrality and data privacy. We are grateful for her support since 2018, and her early faith in the founders has enabled us to reach these heights. #transparency.'  

After WSJ reported Rebekah's links to Parler she issued a statement saying that her multi-millionaire father Robert was not an investor in the site - while sources close to the clan claimed that the investment was a family affair.   

Those who have joined Parler include commentator Candace Owens, Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and right-wing activist Laura Loomer, who handcuffed herself to the door of Twitter's New York office in November 2018 to protest a ban on her by the site.         

Trump's sons Eric and Don Jr. are also already active on the site. 

a little girl standing in a dirt field: Alina's Instagram pictures show the couple have at least one child

Alina's Instagram pictures show the couple have at least one child
© Provided by Daily Mail

Parler hit headwinds, though, on Friday as Google yanked its smartphone app from its app store for allowing postings that seek 'to incite ongoing violence in the U.S.' 

Apple followed suit on Saturday evening after giving Parler 24 hours to address complaints it was being used to 'plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities.' Public safety issues will need to be resolved before it is restored, Apple said. 

Amazon struck another blow Saturday, informing Parler it would need to look for a new web-hosting service effective midnight Sunday.

 It reminded Parler in a letter, first reported by Buzzfeed, that it had informed it in the past few weeks of 98 examples of posts 'that clearly encourage and incite violence' and said the platform 'poses a very real risk to public safety.' 

Matze decried the punishments as 'a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the marketplace. We were too successful too fast,' he said in a Saturday night post, saying it was possible Parler would be unavailable for up to a week 'as we rebuild from scratch.'

'Every vendor, from text message services, to e-mail providers, to our lawyers all ditched us too on the same day,' Matze said Sunday on Fox New Channel's 'Sunday Morning Futures.' 

a man wearing a suit and tie: Parler's CEO John Matze also revealed that Amazon was cutting off the app's servers, leaving it unavailable for a week as the company attempts to rebuild from scratch, pictured © Provided by Daily Mail Parler's CEO John Matze also revealed that Amazon was cutting off the app's servers, leaving it unavailable for a week as the company attempts to rebuild from scratch, pictured

He said while the company is trying to get back online as quickly as possible, it's 'having a lot of trouble, because every vendor we talk to says they won't work with us, because, if Apple doesn't approve and Google doesn't approve, they won't.'

Losing access to the app stores of Google and Apple — whose operating systems power hundreds of millions of smartphones — severely limits Parler's reach, though it will continue to be accessible via web browser. 

Losing Amazon Web Services will mean Parler needs to scramble to find another web host, in addition to the re-engineering. 

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