A literary agency fired one of its agents on Monday after discovering that the employee used Parler and Gab, two social media apps that cater to right-wing users.
Parler was forced to go offline in mid-January, after Google and Apple removed the app from their stores and Amazon ceased cloud services for the app. The decision by Big Tech companies came after some users issued calls for violence, following the riot of supporters of former President Trump at the Capitol on January 6. Both Gab and Parler cite commitments to free speech as part of their platforms.
The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency fired agent Colleen Oefelein for using the apps. The agency’s founder, Jennifer De Chiara, announced the decision in a series of tweets of tweets on Monday that were later listed as “protected” and inaccessible to anyone but De Chiara’s followers. The tweets were reported by Newsweek.
“The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency was distressed to discover this morning, January 25th, that one of our agents has been using the social media platforms Gab and Parler. We do not condone this activity, and we apologize to anyone who has been affected or offended by this,” De Chiara wrote.
“The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency has in the past and will continue to ensure a voice of unity, equality, and one that is on the side of social justice,” De Chiara added. “As of this morning, Colleen Oefelein is no longer an agent at The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.”
Oefelein responded to the firing in a tweet of her own:
Well thanks Twitter and @JDLitAgency. I just got fired because I’m a Christian and a conservative.
— Colleen Oefelein (@eerie_o) January 25, 2021
“Well thanks Twitter and JDLitAgency,” Oefelein wrote. “I just got fired because I’m a Christian and a conservative.”
Gab and Parler are popular among supporters of former President Trump, and a number of right-wing commentators have joined Parler in protest of what they view as censorship of conservatives by Twitter and Facebook, since Parler will only censor speech not covered by the first amendment, such as imminent incitements to violence.