Monday, October 17, Parlement Technologies announced via a news release that Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has agreed to purchase the conservative social media platform Parler.
In this statement, the rapper and fashion designer commented, “In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial, we have to make sure we have the right to fully express ourselves.”
Ye is acquiring Parler just over a week after his Instagram and Twitter accounts were restricted. This was in response to the rapper’s posting of antisemitic comments and conspiracy theories. Ye also questioned the cause of George Floyd’s death, and his statements have Mr. Floyd’s family considering a lawsuit.
Parler, which has attracted supporters of former President Trump, was launched in 2018. Based out of Nashville, the network calls itself “the world’s pioneering uncancelable free speech platform” and rallies against censorship. It was founded in direct response to other social media networks considered by some to be biased against conservative opinions.
The platform claims to have raised $16 million in September. This amount brings its total funding to $56 million. Parler is a direct competitor of Truth Social, the network founded by Trump’s media group in 2021. Parler and Truth Social are considered alternative social media networks or alt-tech, popular among those with extremely conservative views.
Approximately 6% of adult social media users frequently search for news from at least one of seven alt-tech sites. In addition to Truth Social and Parler, these platforms are Rumble, Telegram, Gab, Gettr, and BitChute. The survey that gathered this data also found that 38% of the 10,188 participants had heard of Parler. Despite these networks having a fairly small user base, posters claim they have found like-minded company on these sites.
The price tag for this purchase was not disclosed, and the sale is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter of this year.
Earlier this month, Ye made more headlines by disrupting his own YZY show by wearing a T-shirt featuring the text “White Lives Matter.” This prompted Adidas, the manufacturer of the wildly popular Yeezy shoes and clothing, to re-examine its collaboration with Ye. Whether or not the purchase of Parler has any impact on this evaluation remains to be seen.