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.
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
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Schools in Oregon have begun adding menstrual products to men’s restrooms after the Governor signed a law requiring schools provide free period products in all elementary, middle, and high school bathrooms. pic.twitter.com/nECnP4SbL7
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