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‘I’ve met constant resistance’: Parler CEO John Matze says he’s been fired by board

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Parler CEO and founder John Matze has been terminated from his position according to a memo Matze sent to staffers that was obtained by Fox News.

Matze said he was fired by top Republican donor, Rebekah Mercer.

“On January 29, 2021, the Parler board controlled by Rebekah Mercer decided to immediately terminate my position as CEO of Parler,” Matze wrote. “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.”

In an interview with NPR, Matze claimed that there was a dispute with Mercer over how far Parler would take its openness to free speech. He said if the company wanted to succeed, Parler would have to regulate accounts that promoted or incited violence.

“I got silence as a result,” Matze said in the interview.

In his memo, Matze said that over the past few months he was met with “constant resistance” on how Parler should be managed.

“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.”

Parler had an estimated 15 million users and became widely popular with conservatives following Twitter’s permanent suspension of former President Donald Trump.

Parler has been offline for nearly a month after Amazon, Apple and Google all removed the app from their platforms for failure to moderate “egregious content” related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

“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,” Matze continued.

In a LinkedIn post, Matze thanked Parler employees and shared that he will be returning to the tech field soon, “This is not a goodbye. Just a so long for now,” he wrote.

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Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Pope Francis calls for universal ban on ‘so-called surrogate motherhood’

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Pope Francis called for a universal ban on surrogacy, likening the practice as an unborn child “turned into an object of trafficking.”

“I consider despicable the practice of so-called surrogate motherhood, which represents a grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child, based on the exploitation of situations of the mother’s material needs,” Francis said in a speech to the Holy See on Monday.

The “uterus for rent” process, as Francis has called it, was estimated to bring in $14 billion in the U.S. in 2022, and is projected to grow to a $129 billion market by 2032. National Review reports Individual surrogacies can cost anywhere from $60,000 to $200,000 plus in the U.S. Rising infertility rates, an increase in the number of fertility clinics, and “sedentary lifestyles” contribute to surrogacy’s recent popularity, according to Global Market Insights.

“A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract,” Francis continued. “Consequently, I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally.”

Surrogacy is already banned in many European countries. In the United States, commercial surrogacy, or for-profit surrogacy, is legal in some states, and the practice has been used by celebrities who are very public with their decision to use surrogacy.

Altruistic surrogacy, the method by which a woman carries another person’s child for no official compensation, is legal in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa, Greece, and Iceland, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The speech was about threats to peace and human dignity. “A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract,” Francis continued. “Consequently, I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally.”

Francis also listed Russia’s war on Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas war, climate change, and increased weapons production as great threats to peace on Monday.

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