As reported by Fox News late Wednesday, Parler CEO John Matze revealed that he had been fired by the company’s board a week ago. “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,” Parler was quoted as saying by Fox News.
On Wednesday, in a statement, Matze claimed he was terminated by a board led by Rebekah Mercer, and suggested he was fired due to his “strong belief in free speech” and his product vision, including “what I believe is a more effective approach to content moderation.”
In his memo, Matze said he has faced opposition from colleagues about his vision for Parler’s future.“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,” said Matze. “For example, I advocated for more product stability and what I believe is a more effective approach to content moderation,” he continued.
It is no secret that Matze’s firing is linked to the recent uproar against Parler, which is deemed to be the preferred social media hub for conservative banter. After the Capitol siege of January 6th, the app was removed from Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store and booted from Amazon’s web-hosting platform. The app was removed because it did not impose restrictions on posts that incited violence.
In addition to these problems, it also came to light that Parler may have had some privacy issues. Researchers were able to scrape a tremendous amount of users’ content, including their geotagged locations and videos, which were later converted into interactive maps of the Capitol building attack that proved many Parler users were involved. However, Parler was not blocked by the internet service providers and remains on the phones of users who had the app.
In response to the ban, Matze had been trying to get the app back on App Stores and Amazon Web Hosting services Parler filed a case against Amazon for antitrust violations but to no avail, as a judge denied a demand for its website hosting to be reinstated.