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Social media platform Parler has terminated CEO John Matze, according to a memo sent by Matze to staffers and obtained by Fox News.
“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,” the memo read. “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,” Matze continued. “For example, I advocated for more product stability and what I believe is a more effective approach to content moderation.”
The subject of content moderation was allegedly central to the decision of Amazon Web Services and other providers to effectively remove Parler from the Internet.
“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 wrote. “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.”
Parler has been shut down since Amazon Web Services announced that they would suspend hosting for the social network in early January. Soon after, Parler filed a lawsuit against Amazon, “claiming that Amazon’s suspension of Parler violated antitrust laws and breached the contract between the two entities.” At the time, Matze told Fox News that the site would try to “get back online as quickly as possible,” but warned that the platform could be down for as long as a week.
Matze concluded by thanking those who supported him and the platform, describing the experience as the “true American Dream.”
“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,” Matze wrote. “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.”