The dirty truth of the right wing social media network
Parler has fired CEO John Matze just weeks after the conservative social media site was shut down over violent and incendiary posts about the Capitol siege. Matze blamed Rebekah Mercer, the 47-year-old heiress who hired and then fired Steve Bannon at Breitbart, and controls the board. In a memo Matze sent out to staff this week, first obtained by Fox News, he pointedly said that the decision was made by a board 'controlled by Rebekah Mercer'.
The former CEO said he had been met with 'constant resistance' to his 'belief in free speech' and vision for Parler after Amazon Web Services shut down the site for 'egregious content' related to the Capitol riots.
On Friday, the Parler board decided to to terminate Matze, he wrote in his memo.
'I did not participate in this decision,' Matze wrote.
'I understand that those who now control the company have made some communications to employees and other third parties that have unfortunately created confusion and prompted me to make this public statement.'
'Over the past few months, I've met constant resistance to my product vision, my strong belief in free speech and my view of how the Parler site should be managed.
'For example, I advocated for more product stability and what I believe is a more effective approach to content moderation,' Matze wrote.
'Over the past few weeks, I have worked endless hours and fought constant battles to get the Parler site running but at this point, the future of Parler is no longer in my hands.
John Matze's memo to staff
On January 29, 2021, the Parler board controlled by Rebekah Mercer decided to immediately terminate my position as CEO of Parler. I did not participate in this decision.
I understand that those who now control the company have made some communications to employees and other third parties that have unfortunately created confusion and prompted me to make this public statement.
Over the past few months, I've met constant resistance to my product vision, my strong belief in free speech and my view of how the Parler site should be managed. For example, I advocated for more product stability and what I believe is a more effective approach to content moderation.
I have worked endless hours and fought constant battles to get the Parler site running but at this point, the future of Parler is no longer in my hands.
I want to thank the Parler employees, the people on Parler and Parler supporters for their tireless work and devotion to the company. They are an amazing group of diverse, hardworking and talented individuals and I have the utmost respect for them. Many of them have become my second family.
After that, I'll be looking for new opportunities where my technical acumen, vision and the causes I am passionate about will be required and respected.
I want to thank all the people of Parler that supported me and the platform. This has been the true American Dream: an idea from a living room to a company of considerable value.
I'm not saying goodbye, just so long for now.
Matze plans to take a few weeks off before searching for a new role.
Mercer is the daughter of Robert Mercer, a hedge fund manager and the co-founder of the now-defunct political data-analysis firm Cambridge Analytica.
The Mercers have been prominent supporters of President Donald Trump and conservative causes.
In November she revealed that she had been financing the new app.
'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 said.
'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.
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