Parler is without a CEO. The board of the controversial social network, which was forced largely offline due to violent far-right rhetoric making the rounds on it, terminated John Matze last week, Matze confirmed to Reuters after the move was first reported 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," he said in a memo to staff. "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, who founded Parler, says the site's "executive committee” now consists of Matthew Richardson and Mark Meckler, and that he did not receive a settlement.
The Guardian and other outlets note that while Parler was able to get its website back up and running (thanks to a Russian technology firm), it is still so far only "partially returned" to business. Amazon Web Services gave it the boot, and both Apple and Google removed its app from their app stores, due to its lack of moderation of extremism and other dangerous content. It quickly became popular with Trump supporters and right-wing voices who had been banned from other social media. US lawmakers say it may have been used to plan and carry out the Jan. 6 mob attack on the US Capitol building, and have asked the FBI to probe the matter. (Read more Parler stories.)