Kan(Ye) to Buy Controversial Social Networking App Parler
Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has agreed to buy Parler, a social media platform that has been embraced by conservatives.
Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has agreed to buy Parler, a social media platform that has been embraced by conservatives who departed Twitter over allegations of political censorship.
Parlement Technologies, the company behind Parler, announced Monday that it has entered into an agreement in principle to sell the social media platform to Ye for an undisclosed amount, while continuing to offer technical support such as cloud services.
The decision by Ye to buy his own social media platform comes at a time when the biggest tech firms are struggling with how to control and manage some of their largest users.
“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 was quoted as saying in a statement on Monday.
Ye has recently faced restrictions from the major social media platforms for breaking content polices. Twitter removed a tweet from Ye last week about Jewish people, just a day after he returned to the platform for the first time in nearly two years. Instagram has also deleted posts.
Parler was also banned from the app stores of both Google and Apple Inc after violating its policies in January 2021 following the US Capitol insurrection. Parler returned to the Apple platform in May 2021, but only returned to Google's main app store last month.
Parler is among a growing group of so-called alt-tech sites that aim to give conservatives a forum to share views they feel are silenced on mainstream outlets. But the platforms have struggled at times to fulfill their users' expansive definition of free speech while complying with app store policies.
Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, who welcomed the rapper back to Twitter just hours before Ye's account was locked, has decided to proceed with his offer to purchase Twitter after months of back-and-forth negotiations. Musk has said he will prioritize free speech on Twitter and criticized its decision to ban individuals such as former President Donald Trump for violating its rules.
Trump's rival platform Truth Social has been available in the Apple App Store since February but has yet to launch in the Google Play store.
Ye has recently caused controversy after wearing a shirt at Paris fashion week that said “White Lives Matter. ” The artist has also launched high profile fights via Instagram with corporate partners including Adidas and Gap.
Ye's user profile on Parler, linked from the press release announcing the deal, was created on Monday and as of 11:30 BST had 91 followers.
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