Posted originally on the Conservative tree house on February 3, 2021 by Sundance
According to Fox Business Parler CEO John Matze has been removed by the small group of owners of Parler. Rebekah Mercer (financial aspects) and Dan Bongino (public face) are pushing back against the reasoning that Matze is sharing with the public.
At the 30,000 ft level the outline of the problems are clear. Both elements within the ownership group have issues.
It was not surprising to see the trouble they encountered with re-platforming the social media network.
First, here’s the report:
“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,” Matze wrote. “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.”
Matze wrote that over the past few months he has been met with “constant resistance” to his original vision for the social media platform following Amazon Web Services’ decision to shut Parler down for failure to moderate “egregious content” related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
“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. For example, I advocated for more product stability and what I believe is a more effective approach to content moderation,” Matze wrote.
Parler did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“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,” he continued. “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.” (read more)
First, Matze should have been fired -and the ownership group eviscerated- for allowing the vulnerability of their host server system to exist on Amazon. That was perhaps the stupidest decision of a “conservative” platform ever.
Second, it seems apparent from Matze statements he wanted a heavily moderated and highly controlled moderation system in the platform. Inevitably that can be problematic because humans have to make the decisions on where the line is… it is not easy to support free speech while knowing that some speech can lead to your removal for extremist content. Moderation is a key component, but a balance is needed… the location of the balance bubble seemed to be the issue.
Third, Dan Bongino takes exception to the way Matze frames his support for free speech.
Bottom line is…. from my perspective… the front end of Parler was not the priority. If it was, the decision to make Amazon the server host would never have been made. Instead it was the backside operation, the user data, that held the value from the Mercer perspective.
That outlook makes the most sense.
As they did with Breitbart, the Mercers were in the business of assembling the identities of users that could be leveraged as a commodity for engaged political influence. This is what the Mercers did with the 18 month Breitbart poll of 2016 GOP republican candidates. They built a file of site users for their candidate, Ted Cruz, to use.
It looks to me like the emphasis on Parler 2020 was the same as the emphasis in the Breitbart purchase in 2014. User data providing contact information of conservative minded Americans was the priority; that’s why the ridiculously obvious front-end vulnerability was permitted… it simply was less important than the backside value of the data.
One thing CTH is 100% committed to is to never compromise user privacy for any data exploit; even if that means forgoing bells and whistles that people want. User privacy is the #1 priority…. When you start there, you are forced, by your mission statement, to focus on front-end security and stability. Every decision related to user privacy is what makes a website anti-fragile because it eliminates the intrusion of Big Tech.
Parler joined with Big Tech and launched with Big Tech… and they suffered the consequences of not having emphasis on the front-end of their creation where stewardship on behalf of the user is the #1 priority. To me, that’s the bottom line.
Protect the front-end users from exploitation by locking down the privacy issues and everything else will fall into place. Allow the front-end users to be exploited, and/or assemble data on those users that might be exploited by others; and/or allow vendors who are not under the same privacy rules; and the site stability will always be vulnerable.