Parler CEO John Matze has been fired by the company's board of directors according to an email he sent to employees of the firm, where he declared that the future of the deplatformed social media outlet "is no longer in my hands."
What are the details?
Fox Business obtained the memo, reporting that Matze explained, "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."
He wrote further:
"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."
Matze said that he will take it easy for the next few weeks, and "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."
Conservative pundit Dan Bongino, who has an ownership stake in Parler, issued a video statement following the news of Matze's termination where he took issue with some of Matze's claims. Bongino confirmed that Matze had been let go, but said it was himself and "the other owners of the company" that had the "free speech vision." Bongino said that Matze's vision "was not ours."
What's the background?
Parler was founded in 2018, marketing itself as the free speech alternative to other social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, both of which have ramped up their censorship in recent years. Conservatives flocked to the site in campaigns aimed at punishing existing platforms over accusations of big tech's political bias against the right.
Parler came under fire earlier this year after it did not follow suit as other social media sites issued crackdowns and even bans on President Donald Trump and several Trump advocates following the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Parler was hit with accusations that it did not have an adequate moderation policy, leading Apple to block the Parler app from iPhones, and Google to block the Parler app from Android phones. Amazon Web Services then pulled the plug on Parler's platform altogether by ending its hosting of the social media site's servers.