The Alt-right Parler social media platform will soon have a new owner. Image: Shutterstock
Hip-hop superstar Kanye West, now known as Ye, is looking to buy right-wing social media platform Parler after being kicked out of Twitter and Instagram.
Speak was created in 2018 as a so-called “free speech” alternative to major social platforms like Instagram or Twitter, but with supposedly lax moderation policies designed to meet the needs of a right-wing audience.
In a statement accompanying this week’s announcement, Ye said platforms like Parler were needed “in a world where conservative views are seen as controversial.”
Ye’s concept of “controversial” views apparently includes the kind of blatant anti-Semitism for which he was recently banned from Twitter and Instagram.
Responding to criticism for his choice to wear a shirt with “White Lives Matter” printed on it during Paris Fashion Week last month, Ye took to Instagram to say that rapper Diddy was controlled by Jewish people.
Meta, who owns Instagram, quickly banned Ye so he returned to Twitter where Elon Musk, who is still on the verge of buying Twitter, welcomed him with open arms – at least until Ye said that he was going “dead con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE” (his capitals) and again had his account banned.
Instagram owner Meta quickly banned Ye so he returned to Twitter where Elon Musk, who is still on the verge of buying Twitter, welcomed him with open arms.
That was at least until Ye said he was “going to die con 3 on JEWS” (his caps) – a reference to the US Armed Forces DEFCON warning system.
DEFCON 3 describes an “increase in force readiness above that required for normal readiness”.
Ye was subsequently banned from Twitter.
A week later, Ye’s face graced a press release from Parler’s parent company, Parliament Technologies, saying it had “reached an agreement in principle to sell Parler.”
Parliament CEO George Farmer, who is the husband of right-wing pundit Candace Owens, said Ye is “taking a revolutionary step into the free speech media space and will never have to worry about being removed from social media”.
Against the backdrop of Ye’s brazen hate speech, Parler tacitly welcomes people who share his anti-Semitic sentiment, or at least would like the ability to spread hate speech or misinformation online with relative impunity.
Speak and other openly right-wing platforms like Gab and Rumble began to gain attention during the Trump presidency when Twitter and Facebook pushed back against attempts by the former US president and his supporters to undermine the democratic process of the country.
The app was banned from Android and Apple app stores following the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, when Trump was banned from mainstream social platforms, prompting him to create his own, called Truth Social. .
Alternative social media like Parler and Truth Social lean heavily on the idea that they provide a home for “cancelled culture” refugees who have fled or been kicked out of mainstream social platforms.
Of course, despite claiming to be a bastion of free speech, Parler still has its own set of moderation rules that, in some ways, are stricter than Twitter’s.
For example, Parler prohibits usernames that contain words or phrases that could be a description of “nudity or adult sex.”
Parler’s Community Guidelines also reserve the right to remove “grossly defamatory statements” about the platform and are particularly restrictive on people who post spam or use bots, as “influencers and creators of the platform…deserve to enjoy the unhindered effects of their hard work.”
According to a source who spoke to the edgeParliament has been looking for buyers of Parler in recent weeks at an “extremely inflated” price.
This source reportedly said Parler only has around 50,000 daily active users. Twitter, for comparison, has around 229 million daily active users.