After being banned from Instagram and Twitter for posting antisemitic comments, Kanye West has offered to purchase Parler, a right-wing friendly social networking site.
West, also known legally as Ye, would have control over Parler and have a new platform for his opinions without any gatekeepers. Who will listen?
Parler is one of the few new social apps that are largely right-wing and far-right and is claiming to promote free speech through looser rules and moderation. With competition increasing for the small number of older people who want political discussion online, there is no clear path to growth beyond the niche platform.
Parler may be ein even more trouble if Tesla CEO Elon Musk proceeds with his plan to buy Twitter. Musk has made it clear that he wants to relax Twitter’s rules and content moderation efforts. This includes restoring the account of former President Donald Trump. Sites like Parler, Gab, and Trump’s Truth Social may lose users if the far-right and libertarian users who quit Twitter — either because it was too restrictive to their political views, or because they were kicked out — return.
Parlement Technologies, the owner of Parler, and West announced Monday that the acquisition would be completed during the fourth quarter. However, the price and other details weren’t disclosed. Parlement Technologies stated that the agreement covers the use of Parlement’s cloud infrastructure and private cloud services.
Parler last month restructured its business to create Parlement Technologies. Parlement Technologies said it aims to be the “world’s leading free speech technology infrastructure” and platform. Parlement Technologies will now provide services to niche sites, which is something Parler cannot do. Parlement spokesperson stated that the deal with West wasn’t yet in place when the company was restructured. The two transactions are distinct.
years was banned from posting on Instagram and Twitter a week ago due to anti-semitic comments that were reported by the social networks as violating their policies. According to internet archives, Ye posted on Twitter that he would soon “death CON 3 on JEWISH PEOPLES” and made apparent references to the U.S. defense readiness scale, known as DEFCON.
Ye also suggested that slavery was an option and called the COVID-19 vaccination the “mark of a beast”. He was also criticized for fearing a “White Lives Matter T-shirt” to Paris Fashion Week.
Ye stated in a prepared statement that “in a world where conservative views are considered controversial we must make sure we have the freedom to express ourselves.”
Parler has struggled amid competition from other conservative-friendly platforms like Truth Social, which are tiny as well compared with mainstream social media sites. According to Data.ai which tracks app usage, Parler had 725,000 monthly active users in America for the first half. This is a decrease of 5.2 million users in the first half 2 of 021. Parler failed to surpass the 1,000,000 mark, even when you include people from other countries.
According to Data.ai, Truth Social had 2.4 million monthly users in the same period despite having launched only in February and being available on Apple devices. According to Data.ai, another right-leaning platform GGetty launched in July 2021 and has about 3.8 million active users per month, was also mentioned by the market research firm.
Twitter is the most popular of all these platforms. It reported that it had 237.8million active users per day during its latest quarter. While many right-wing platforms were born out of opposition to content-moderation restrictions on mainstream services like Facebook and Twitter, they have not been able to attract large numbers of users.
One reason could be that most people don’t want to talk politics online. The Pew Research Centre estimates that one-third of all tweets in the U.S. is political, though these are mostly sent by a small group of older people. Pew estimates that Americans 50 years and older account for 24% of U.S. adults who tweet, but they also produce almost 80% of all political tweets. Ye’s Parler must target this audience if he wants to grow his user base.
Parler was launched in August 2018, but it didn’t pick up steam until 2020. Parler was shut down in January 2021 due to its links to the deadly insurrection at U.S. Capitol earlier in the month. Parler announced a relaunch a month after the attack. It was relaunched by Parler last month on Google Play.
Parlement Technologies CEO George Farmer said that the deal would change the world and alter the way the world views free speech. He is married to Candace Owens, a conservative activist.