Oct. 17 (Reuters) – Parent firm Parlement Technologies announced on Monday that American musician Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, has reached an agreement in principle to purchase Parler, the social media site favoured by American conservatives.
The purchase is anticipated to finalise in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to Nashville-based Parler, which has raised approximately $56 million to date. It provided no deal value.
The 2018-released app Parler, which was withdrawn from the Google Play and Apple Inc. shops after the U.S. January 2021 riots at the Capitol. Gettr, Gab, and Truth Social are a few other social media sites that promote themselves as free-speech rivals to Twitter Inc. (TWTR.N).
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As part of an overhaul, Parler established a new parent company, Parlement Technologies Inc., last month.
The business talks with Ye started recently, after Paris Fashion Week, according to Parlement Technologies Chief Executive Officer George Farmer in an interview with Reuters on Monday.
Kanye West Says Parler Deal Prompted by His Instagram + Twitter Bans
“When I got kicked off of Instagram and Twitter at the time, I knew it was time to acquire my own platform” https://t.co/PJxdUuzvLX
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) October 18, 2022
Ye, a fashion designer, wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt in Paris on October 3; four days later, he posted on Instagram comments that some Jewish organisations deemed anti-Semitic. Ye’s Instagram account was restricted due to the posts by Instagram and Facebook owner Meta Platforms (META.O).
Ye next switched to Twitter, where he made his first message in two years on October 8; Twitter quickly locked his account.
Farmer declined to comment on whether the agreement has a break-up fee if either party ends it, stating that the conversation about Instagram barring him was the “motivating factor” for him.
Ye ended his collaboration with clothing retailer Gap Inc. (GPS.N) in September, and German sportswear manufacturer Adidas (ADSGn.DE) announced on October 6 that it is reconsidering its business relationship with the rapper.
A fun blending of two stories: George Farmer, the CEO of Parler, is the son of Michael Farmer, the Brexiteer Lord who is currently trying to get the government to adopt “family-strengthening policies” because they’re “important for economic growth” https://t.co/58rzCp4eYI
— alex hern (@alexhern) October 17, 2022
Farmer stated on Monday that he is not worried about Parler’s chances for advertising under Ye.
There are more advertisers who want to advertise in this space, Farmer said, so I see this as a warning shot across the bow for businesses who want to de-platform individuals.
At the time of the announcement, Ye appeared to have joined Parler on Monday and had roughly 91 followers. He has 3,900 presently.
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In a statement, he said, “We have to make sure we have the right to openly express ourselves in a society where conservative beliefs are thought to be contentious.
Farmer claims that 16.5 million people have signed up for Parler. The platform has reportedly had 11.7 million installations since its introduction, and Apptopia believes that 40,000 people use it every day. Ye is thought to be worth $2 billion by Forbes.
Frequently Asked Question:
What Is Parler Social Media?
Parler is a conservative social network that originated in the United States and uses alternative technologies. Reporters have labelled Parler as a technological alternative to Twitter, and its user base includes those who have been banned from or who disagree with the moderation practises of more major social media platforms.
Parler, which debuted in August 2018, promotes itself as a free-speech-focused, apolitical alternative to Twitter and Facebook. Journalists have accused it of being a front for its far-right userbase, and both they and their users have complained about the service’s content standards being more stringent than the firm makes it seem and, in some cases, even more so than those of its competitors.