Kanye West to buy "free-speech" platform Parler
West recently had his Instagram and Twitter accounts restricted over antisemitic postsBy Rob Thubron 55 comments
What just happened? Parler, the social media platform that positions itself as a non-censoring alternative to Twitter, is being bought by an unlikely purchaser: Ye, better known as Kanye West. Parent company Parlement Technologies says it has entered into an agreement in principle with the musician to acquire the "pioneering uncancelable free speech platform."
"In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves," West said in a press statement.
Parler, which you can download securely here, has rarely been away from controversy since launching in 2018. It's proved popular with conservatives and those on the right of the political spectrum who have accused Twitter and Facebook of silencing their voices on issues such as Trump and Covid-19. It even managed to attract big name users such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Fox News host Sean Hannity.
But following the Capitol attack on January 6 last year, Parler was banned from the Google Play and Apple App stores. Parler changed its policies and was reinstated by Cupertino a few months later, in May 2021, while Google only brought it back last month, a full 18 months after the ban.
Parler writes that West's proposed acquisition will assure the platform has a future role in creating an "uncancelable ecosystem where all voices are welcome." CEO George Farmer has welcomed the artist as "a compatriot in the fight for free speech."
"This deal will change the world, and change the way the world thinks about free speech. Ye is making a groundbreaking move into the free speech media space and will never have to fear being removed from social media again. Once again, Ye proves that he is one step ahead of the legacy media narrative. Parlement will be honored to help him achieve his goals," Farmer said in a statement.
Both parties intend to enter into a definitive purchase agreement and expect to close the deal during the fourth quarter of 2022.
West made headlines last week after Instagram restricted his account for his post showing a purported text conversation with Sean "Diddy" Combs in which West appeared to suggest Combs was controlled by Jewish people. West was also locked out of his Twitter account for tweeting, "I'm a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I'm going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE." It could be that the companies' actions prompted West to buy Parler.
West, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2016, is no stranger to offline controversy. He made anti-Semitic comments and talked about various conspiracy theories during unaired segments of a Fox News interview with Tucker Carlson. He also wore a t-shirt sporting the words "White Lives Matter" at Paris Fashion Week.
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