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Parlor CEO fired after “continuous resistance” within a conservative site

Parlor, a far-right-friendly social media site that was taken offline after a violent mob raided the US Capitol, fired its CEO.

John Mates said the company removed him from CEO, but didn’t give a specific reason.

Mr Matz said conservative donor Rebekah Mercer, who oversees Parlor’s board of directors, immediately terminated his position on Friday.

“I didn’t participate in this decision,” 27-year-old Matze, based in Henderson, Nevada, wrote in a statement shared with NPR.

“This was a real American dream. It’s an idea from the living room to a company of considerable value,” Matze said in a statement. “I’m not saying goodbye, it’s been a long time now.”

In another message, Maze claimed to be “the most practical and practical manager of the team” with a strong belief in freedom of speech “in a way that keeps violence, agitation, and domestic terrorists away and neutral.”

The parlor did not return a request for comment.

In recent months, parlors have gained popularity for their looser approach to online speech. With Facebook and Twitter, it has become the most downloaded free app on iPhone. Platform release Former President Donald Trump. The site has grown to about 15 million users, according to parlor sources, but the surge in new growth among Trump supporters and other conservatives was short-lived.

Apple and Google have launched Parler from the smartphone app store. After that, Amazon had a fatal blow by unplugging its web hosting service.

When researchers and journalists surfaced a swarm of posts showing how the parlor was used as a staging site for the January 6 parliamentary attack, Matz counterattacked saying the parlor was unfairly chosen. did. Matz argued that Facebook, Twitter, and other more mainstream platforms were also used to gain support for the “save America” ​​and “stop stealing” rallies in Washington.

Parlor sued Amazon in a federal court in Seattle, breaching the deal with Parlor for a sudden termination of service by a tech giant, and Amazon abused market power by effectively shutting down emerging tech companies. Insisted.

However, the federal judge in this case was a preliminary judge, Amazon allySaid that it was actually the parlor who violated the terms of the contract by not removing the incendiary speech flagged by Amazon.

The parlor had a backlog of about 26,000 reports of abuse that took no action, an Amazon lawyer wrote in a filing.

Founded in 2018, Parler is seeing an increasing number of so-called alternative social media sites taking a more laissez-faire approach to online content, as major platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are moving in the opposite direction. .. Regulates the rapid spread of disinformation, harassment and violent rhetoric.

Many conservatives feel that social media companies are biased towards content crackdowns, but there is no conclusive evidence to support this claim.

Rebekah Mercer, who managed the parlor board Early investors The company is a major donor for conservative purposes, including Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Both Mercer and Matze have long portrayed themselves as vulnerable online players trying to challenge the overwhelming power that Big Tech has for online speech, especially conservative voices.

According to a Matze statement, the common vision of overthrowing the power of large tech companies seems tense these days.

“For the past few months, I’ve faced a vision of the product, a strong belief in freedom of speech, and constant resistance to my view of how to manage the Parler site,” wrote Matze. “For example, I believe it’s a more effective approach to product stability and content moderation. Over the past few weeks, I’ve worked hours to get the Parler site up and running, fighting constantly. I’ve been, but at this point, the future of parlers is no longer in my hands. ”

Participants in the January 6 riots were organized using Facebook and Twitter, but the parlor appears to have played a unique role in both planning the siege and recording violence when swallowing the Capitol. That’s right. Video review And other posts by ProPublica.

Other alt-platforms as Parler went offline MeWe And Gab, Encrypted messaging service Telegram has seen a large influx of new users looking for like-minded people who are also avoiding Facebook and Twitter.

NPR Tech correspondent Shannon Bond contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 NPR. For more information, please visit https://www.npr.org.

Parlor CEO fired after “continuous resistance” within a conservative site

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