Kanye West to Buy Social Media App Parler After Getting Kicked Off Twitter, Instagram
American rapper Kanye West has agreed to purchase the conservative-leaning social network Parler after getting kicked off Instagram and Twitter for violating their policies with inflammatory and antisemitic remarks — reports CNBC.
“In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves,” said West, who earlier this year chose to be known simply as “Ye,” in a statement released by Parler.
Parler and Ye have reached an agreement in principle for the sale, although the financial terms of the deal are yet to be disclosed. Ye is supposedly worth $2 billion, while Parler has raised a total of $56 million in funding so far.
Parler, which launched in 2018, is one of several right-wing-friendly social media platforms that were spun up during former U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration. Others include Gettr and Trump’s own app, Truth Social.
Parler sparked significant controversy last year after playing a role in the January riots at the Capitol building. As a result, the Parler app was booted from both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. Amazon suspended the platform’s access to its cloud services, effectively taking it online.
Ye has turned to Parler after Instagram and Twitter suspended him from their platforms for agitating and antisemitic remarks.
In one post, Ye propagated a long-standing antisemitic conspiracy theory about rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs being controlled by Jewish people. On Twitter, meanwhile, Ye was locked out of his account for tweeting he would go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.”
As of early Monday, Ye had around 2,800 followers on Parler. That is but a fraction of his audience on Twitter and Instagram, where the rapper has 31 million and 18 million followers, respectively.
George Farmer, CEO of Parler’s parent company Parlement Technologies, said on Monday that the deal with Ye “will change the world, and change the way the world thinks about free speech.”
“Ye is making a groundbreaking move into the free speech media space and will never have to fear being removed from social media again,” Farmer said in a statement. “Once again, Ye proves that he is one step ahead of the legacy media narrative. Parlement will be honoured to help him achieve his goals.”
Maybe Ye will come back to Twitter when his friend and celebrity billionaire Elon Musk finally takes it over. When Ye recently returned to Twitter for the first time since 2020, Musk was among the first to welcome him back to the platform. “Welcome back to Twitter, my friend!” the Tesla CEO tweeted.