Last week, Parler CEO John Matze was fired as the CEO by the company’s board of directors, and he has spoken on Fox Business about why. In a memo to staffers, Matze wrote that he did not participate in the decision, and he was met with “constant resistance on his original vision for the platform.”
On Fox Business, the former CEO was asked what happened, and he was asked for his opinion on why the board decided to take the person who built the business out of the top spot.
“I’m not entirely sure why they made their decision,” he began in response. “Given recent stress and everything going on, there has been some pushback back and forth, but I can’t understand still to this day why I had been terminated.”
“But you said, and you told employees you were met with “constant resistance.” John, what were they resisting to?” the host asked in response. “You had the vision to try to have a free speech opportunity in a world where we see censorship on so many platforms of your competitors. So what was your board resisting to most?”
Matze says in response that there have been a lot of things they’ve “gone back and forth about,” then continues to explain that recent circumstances such as having the app taken off the Apple Store and the Google Play Store, as well as getting dropped by Amazon have made him think it was “probably a good time to start looking at being a little bit more pragmatic while still respecting free speech.”
The former CEO then explains his concept that ultimately got him removed from his position. According to him, his concept was adding “AI and other technologies” to the platform so it could be more proactive. At the same time, they’d have a system in place where a third party could come in and disagree with a decision made by the AI or other technologies.
“You can then go ahead and contest it, and it’ll get sent to a jury of your peers. And that was my idea and my concept that—you know—this would then go, and you’d get a trial by jury, and it would be a fair, and it would be a good way to double-check any rulings,” Matze said. “And so that was my vision forward for the moderation front, but I don’t know really where the biggest disconnect was. This was not explained to me.”
Moving on to social media and the competitive landscape in general, the host asked, “What is your take on what’s going on in terms of social media, as so many people complain that there is serious censorship going on?”
According to Matze, a lot of people have headed over to Telegram since Parler went offline. The news segment then cuts to a clip of Parler investor and Fox News contributor Dan Bongino pushing back against Matze’s statement.
“The relationship with Parler and the CEO did not work out because the CEO’s vision was not ours. So everybody clear on that? Our vision was crystal clear. We needed to get up and fight back. Some terrible decisions were made in the past that led to this that led us to get put down by Amazon and others,” Bongino says in the video.
The former Parler CEO reacted by saying that Dan is fairly new to the company and is not a manager. “I was there for two and a half years before he joined, so I don’t know if that explanation is accurate. I think my vision is pretty aligned with what they were saying. I don’t think anything I said earlier was too disciplined.”
As it turns out, the company had not released an official statement even after five days had passed since the board of directors fired Matze. “I got to make a statement to the employees and the world tomorrow. It’s been five days. People are asking me where I’m at. You’ve been giving people mixed messages. You’ve been telling people on some channels this, and you’ve been telling others that. I’ve had. Actually, third parties call me who are not a part of the company asking me what’s going on. So at this point, I have to make a statement tomorrow, and so please let’s make a joint statement.” He gave them almost a week to work with him, but they refused to do so.
In response to the host’s question about where the company will go from there, Matze said, “I think their next move is to have to come back.” He added that they’d probably “they’ll probably have to adopt a lot of the A.I. and automation procedures that I had proposed, they’ll probably have to adopt a lot of the policies that I set into place, and they’ll probably still be using the features that I designed and sent out to the team.”
In essence, the company will be using the same principles that he, as the founder, created, but the difference is that the man who made those technologies will no longer be there to update and perfect them.
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