Kanye West Acquires Media Platform Parler

Donald Trump has Truth Social. Elon Musk is about to buy Twitter (maybe). Now, Kanye “Ye” West will own Parler. In the latest installment of controversial men buying social media bullhorns, Ye, 45, announced on Monday (Oct. 17) that he has agreed in principle to buy the right-wing social media platform. The deal’s financial terms weren’t disclosed, though the parent company, Parlement Technologies, announced in September that it had raised $56 million in funding to date. “In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial, we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves,” Ye said in a statement, per CNBC.

Ye’s Parler purchase comes on the heels of his social media suspension over a slew of antisemitism. Ye’s Instagram account was restricted on Oct. 8 after he shared a conversation between him and Sean “Diddy” Combs. In the convo, Ye told Diddy that he was going “to use you as an example to show the Jewish people that told you to call me that no one can threaten or influence me.” After getting his IG restricted, Ye returned to Twitter, but the homecoming was short-lived. The app locked his account after Ye tweeted he was going “death [sic] con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.”

At its peak, Parler had 2.9 million daily users, per CNN. However, with the rise of competing conservative platforms, including Trump’s Truth Social, CNN reports that the daily user count has dropped to around 40,000 (Twitter has 237 million daily active users.)

Parler was launched in 2018 and was embroiled in controversy over its role in the January 6 insurrection. Amazon, Apple, and Google removed Parler from their stores following the alleged coup. Apple reinstated it in May 2021, per The Verge. In September 2022, Google allowed it back on the Google Play store, seemingly agreeing to comply with the additional moderation measures that got it back on the iOS store.

Parlement Technologies and Ye expect to finalize the deal at the end of the year. “Ye is making a groundbreaking move into the free speech media space and will never have to fear being removed from social media again,” said George Farmer, Parlement Technologies CEO. “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 is married to Candace Owens, the right-wing commentator who was by Ye’s side during his now-infamous “White Lives Matter” fashion show. Ye also attended the premiere of Owens’ documentary, The Greatest Lie Ever Sold. Farmer was named CEO of Parler in May 2021 following a dispute between investor Rebekah Mercer and ex-Parler chief John Matze. Mercer is the heiress daughter of hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer and Parler’s controlling shareholder.

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