Parler CEO forced out — by GOP megadonor investor Rebekah Mercer: report
John Matze CEO Parler (Screengrab)

On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the CEO of alternative social network Parler has been fired — by a board of directors controlled by an infamous GOP megadonor.

"John Matze, the former CEO, said he was fired on Friday by the company's board. He said the board is currently controlled by conservative political donor Rebekah Mercer," reported Jeff Horwitz and Keach Hagey. "'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,' he said in a statement. 'For example, I advocated for more product stability and what I believe is a more effective approach to content moderation.'"

Parler bills itself as a haven for unrestricted speech, attracting right-wingers frustrated that sites like Twitter and Facebook have recently taken a stronger stand about removing hate speech, election disinformation, and other content they deem unsuitable.

For a time last year, Parler was the fastest-growing social network, topping the app store in new downloads. However, the site has had a rocky few weeks, with many of its users storming the Capitol in January and the site being taken down by Amazon servers. It is unclear whether Matze's dismissal will result in a new policy direction.