After public spats on Twitter and Instagram, rapper Ye – formerly known as Kanye West – buys social network Parler, an alternative microblogging site often associated with far-right extremists, conspiracy theorists and others who have been booted from mainstream platforms.
Ye, who was briefly banned from Twitter and Instagram earlier this month for allegedly anti-Semitic tweets the platforms said violated their terms of service, said he buys the self-proclaimed “pioneering irrevocable.” [sic] Free Speech Platform.”
“In a world where conservative opinions are considered controversial, we must ensure we have the right to express ourselves freely,” Ye said in a statement provided by Parler.
It will be Ye repeating the conservative talking point that right-wing views are routinely unfairly censored. In reality, depending on the platform, this is either not true, or conservative political communications are flagged as misinformation more often than opposition messages.
Parlement Technologies CEO George Farmer said Yes’s decision to buy Parler was another indicator that it was a step ahead of the “old media narrative” being spun by big tech companies. Parlement Technologies, which owns Parler, describes itself as a “leading force” in the fight against such narratives.
“This deal will change the world and change the way the world thinks about free speech. Ye is taking a groundbreaking step into the free speech media space and will never again have to fear being removed from social media,” Farmer said.
Incidentally, Farmer is the husband of Republican Candace Owens, a right-wing American political activist, commentator and influencer.
Ye is not Musk and Parler is not Twitter
The echoes of free speech radicalism and the sudden unannounced purchase of a social media company make Ye seemingly follow in the footsteps of Elon Musk, who is teasing Twitter, albeit to a far lesser extent.
Because Parler is a private company, it’s difficult to find out how many users it has or how much influence it has. Based on third-party sources, it’s probably not a lot: According to NPR, analytics firm Apptopia has suggested that Parler has about 40,000 daily active users, versus Twitter’s 237 million.
The social network is commonly associated with the far right, dangerous idiots and extremists because it allowed these people to post and share views that would throw them off other platforms. It was also used by Donald Trump supporters to fantasize about a stolen presidential election that wasn’t one and orchestrate their violent, democracy-damaging insurgency on January 6, 2021.
Parler was soon after denied hosting by AWS for allowing its residents to incite and encourage violence in the US capital, a move that caused the website and app to go offline and reportedly lost many users, who never returned.
The app was also kicked out of Apple and Google’s software stores and introduced content moderation last year to get listed in those souks again.
Parler set up his parents’ Parlement last month and talks with Ye apparently began after Paris Fashion Week, when the rapper was criticized for wearing a White Lives Matter shirt.
Yes’s behavior has been a topic of conversation for years, as his many confusing decisions have resulted in high-profile controversies perfectly suited to keeping him in the headlines. Just days ago, he said he saw a documentary by Owens – the wife of the Parler CEO – about George Floyd and asked if Floyd was suffocated by a police officer who knelt on his neck for eight minutes.
Whether Yes’s decision to buy Parler will jeopardize his alleged friendship with Elon Musk remains to be seen, although the Twitter-stalking billionaire has at least some credit for reuniting Ye with his 31 million-follower Twitter account.
“Welcome back to Twitter my friend,” Musk tweeted after Yes’s account was restored. “I spoke to Ye today and expressed my concern about his recent tweet which I think he took to heart,” Musk added without further explanation. ®
https://www.theregister.com/2022/10/17/ye_kanye_west_parler/ Kanye West is buying far-right social media port Parler • The Register