Kanye Wants to Buy ‘Free Speech’ Platform Parler – Possibly Because Nobody Else Wants Him Around
Kanye West has been unwelcome on Twitter and Instagram in recent weeks – his usual social media go-to destinations. The
Kanye West has been unwelcome on Twitter and Instagram in recent weeks – his usual social media go-to destinations.
The rapper/fashion mogul was banned from both temporarily for anti-Semitic speech, which he doubled down on during an interview with Tucker Carlson, even though the Fox News interview opted to cut those portions out.
Now, he's following in the footsteps of Donald Trump and Elon Musk and just buying his way out of trouble online.
Kanye West to Buy Parler
BREAKING: Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, to acquire conservative social media app Parler, the platform has announced.— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 17, 2022
The move comes a week after the rapper was locked out of his Twitter account and restricted on Instagram for antisemitic posts. https://t.co/P68yuPVMdx
If Donald Trump can create his own social media platform, and Elon Musk can buy Twitter and change the rules, Kanye West can buy Parler and do whatever he wants – at least, that's the theory.
Parler's parent company announced the acquisition early Monday, saying that the purchase is for Ye, "a groundbreaking move into the free speech media space and will never have to fear being removed from social media again."
CNN reports, "'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 said in a release by Parler.
As part of the announcement, Parler linked to West’s account on the platform, which appeared to have launched simultaneously. As of early Monday, the account had roughly 500 followers."
Parler was founded in 2018 and quickly gained traction as a conservative alternative to giants like Facebook and Twitter, which many conservatives accuse of censorship. The app's popularity blew up during the 2020 election as conservatives online spread its existence by word of mouth, hoping to lure people away from what they call the "liberal-owned" titans under the Meta and Twitter umbrellas.
CNN adds, "In the weeks following the Jan. 6 riots, Parler was removed from both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for what the companies said was a failure to adequately moderate violent rhetoric on the platform. Documents provided to the House committee investigating the Capitol riots have shown how the Secret Service was aware of posts on Parler that suggested the possibility of violence surrounding that day. Separately, Parler has written to Congress claiming that lawmakers’ interest in the app’s role in the riots has been intended to 'scapegoat' the app.
Parler has since been restored to both app stores after making changes to its content moderation practices.
Parler has faced more competition in recent months as the burgeoning right-wing digital media ecosystem has expanded. Truth Social launched in February on Apple’s app store, and was approved for Google’s app store on Oct. 13. Truth Social saw a spike of downloads last week due to its appearance on the Google Play Store, Apptopia said, and before then had been hovering at 144,000 daily active users."
Now, under West, Parler expects to be a place where they will "let everyone be anyone" and defend "free speech."
It's worth noting that Candace Owens' husband, George Farmer, is the CEO of Parler. The same Owens who has been going to bat for West over his recent scandals.
Kanye and His Anti-Semitic Rants Make Instagram and Twitter Uncomfortable
But even if West enjoys his time on Parler, he's still facing a bit of a public image crisis.
It all started when Ye wore a "White Lives Matter" t-shirt to a Yeezy show in Paris alongside conservative commentator Candace Owens. From there, West seemed to invite controversy, going on online rants through Instagram and taking stabs at his ex-wife's family for what he calls "kidnapping" their children to try to turn them against West.
Kim Kardashian's family hit back, and he removed those posts – but didn't remove the dozens of references to God and his religion, before taking a stab at Jewish people online. West speculated that Sean "Diddy" Combs – a prominent performing artist and producer – is controlled "by Jewish people" which led to a ban from Instagram.
West then took his fury to Twitter where he promised to go "death con 3" on Jewish people – and was banned there as well.
West may find himself able to say whatever he wants on Parler, but people will still hold him accountable – and that's an uncomfortable place for the rapper who often compares himself to Jesus and likes to consider himself untouchable.
Many have suggested that West's known mental illnesses mean he shouldn't be making such huge business decisions without oversight, but so far no one seems to be willing to do anything about it. Least of which the people who are profiting off his impulsive nature.