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Kanye West to buy Parler: Why Ye wants to own this alt-right-friendly social networking platform

Shortly after, Kanye West agreed to buy the alt-right-friendly social network Parler .
The parlor, seen as a hotbed of extremist rhetoric unwelcome on prominent social media sites, has won a following on the far right.
The 45-year-old rapper, producer and fashion designer, who now goes by the name E, said in a release that he wants to buy Parler to make sure people with conservative political views “have the right to express themselves freely.”
There was a parlor in the Apple and Google app stores last year for refusing to tone down calls for violence following the attack on the US Capitol by supporters of former US President Donald Trump.
West has agreed in principle to buy Parler, and the Nashville-based platform, which has raised about $56 million ($89 million) to date, says it expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter of 2022. There was no deal. value.
Parler, which launched in 2018, has been reinstated in Google and Apple Inc’s app stores after being removed following the US Capitol riots in January 2021.

Parler is one of several social media platforms, including Gettr, Gab, and Truth Social, that are positioning themselves as free-speech alternatives to Twitter.

Parler’s talks began after E West’s “White Lives Matter” t-shirt.

Last month, Parler created a new parent company, Parlement Technologies, as part of an overhaul.
Parlement Technologies chief executive George Farmer told Reuters that talks with Ye began recently, after Paris Fashion Week.
In Paris on Oct. 3, West, who is also a fashion designer, wore a T-shirt that read, “White Lives Matter.”

Four days later, he made posts on Instagram that several Jewish groups called anti-Semitic. Meta Platforms, which owns Instagram and Facebook, blocked West from his Instagram account for the posts.

Kanye West caused controversy at Paris Fashion Week. Source: Getty

West then took to Twitter, making the announcement on Oct. 8 for the first time in two years; Twitter soon blocked his account.

The deal with Parler came quickly, Mr Farmer said, and Parliament was “presented with an opportunity”: “The motivating factor was the discussion with him about Instagram blocking him”.
West appeared to have joined Parler on Monday and had about 91 followers at the time of the announcement.
“In a world where conservative views are considered controversial, we must make sure we have the right to express ourselves freely,” he said in a statement.
Mr. Farmer says Parler has 16.5 million registered users.

Forbes estimates West’s net worth at $2 billion.

“A status symbol?”

Parler was launched in the summer of 2018 by software engineer John Matze and Rebecca Mercer, a major donor to the Republican Party.
The platform, little-known until 2021, came under the spotlight after Mr Trump was banned from Twitter amid fears his messages could incite more violence in his bid to overturn his election defeat.

West’s proposed takeover of Parler comes as the rapper has faced accusations of racism and anti-Semitism that have led to restrictions on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

“By owning Parler, Kanye can be confident that he can say whatever he wants on the platform,” according to a note by Megan Brown and Joshua Tucker of New York University’s Center on Social Media and Politics.
“Of course, it could also be that owning a social media platform is now becoming a status symbol for the outspoken ultra-rich, especially those who have run into problems with existing platforms.”

Mr Trump launched his own social media network earlier this year, while Tesla chief Elon Musk’s $US70 billion ($44 billion) deal to buy Twitter appears to have been revived after he tried to back out.

Far from Facebook

According to data.ai, Parler has been downloaded 8.5 million times since launch, including 6.2 million times in the US.
Only 58,000 downloads of Parler were registered in September on the major app stores run by Apple and Google, compared to Facebook’s roughly 72 million downloads during the same period.
Parler did not respond to a request for information on the platform’s finances and number of users.
Mr. Trump does not have an official Parler account.

E, who launched his Parler account last week, has 1,800 followers, while he has more than 31 million followers on Twitter and 18.2 million followers on Instagram.

Banned for some time

Concerns about misinformation and rhetoric that could cause harm in the real world led Apple and Google to remove Parler from their rival app stores after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Cloud computing platform Amazon Web Services made similar arguments for its decision to stop hosting Parler on its servers, effectively shutting down the social networking website.
Parler has since been allowed back into the App Store and Google Play shop, ostensibly after bringing its content moderation systems in line with the policies of rival tech companies.

“Both Google and Apple require content moderation policies that remove illegal content, including incitement to violence, which is why they were banned in the first place,” Ms Brown and Mr Tucker said.

Limited audience

Parler is one of many social networks courting ultraconservatives who oppose a platform that filters out dangerously inflammatory or misleading posts.
Competitors include Parler Gettr, Gab, Rumble and Mr. Trump’s own Truth Social, which has experienced some technical issues since launching in February.
Mr. Trump’s social network also found itself unwelcome on Google’s store for content tailored for Android mobile devices until it improved its content moderation systems.

According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, only six percent of Americans regularly get information from one of these so-called “alternative” social networks.


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