Ye, formally known as Kanye West, has launched a bid to buy social media platform Parler, the company has said.
The controversial rapper and fashion designer has made waves in recent weeks following a series of offensive statements. This included comments about the death of George Floyd and an Instagram post deemed to be anti-semetic which got him banned from the site. He also recently premiered a fashion show in which models wore t-shirts and clothing with the words ‘White Lives Matter’ on them.
But why has Ye made the move to buy Parler? Here’s everything you need to know.
What is Parler?
Parler is a social media platform mainly used by American conservatives. Many of those who have denounced “mainstream media” sites such as Twitter and Facebook turned to it to use as a social media platform instead.
It grew to prominence in 2020, prior to and during the US election. It was also noted to have a more relaxed policy to content moderation, whereas users of Twitter and other platforms may have found themselves locked out or banned from using their account for expressing extreme views.
The app was accused of allowing users to share information to coordinate the 2021 riots in the US Capitol. However, the company has denied this allegation.
As a result of the controvery, the Google Play and Apple app stores removed Parler for download, while Amazon Web Services cancelled its hosting service meaning that the app went offline for around a month before finding another hosting service. The Parler app was eventually restored to Google Play and Apple app stores, however the company call the original move “a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the marketplace”.
Why is Kanye West interested in buying Parler?
The company itself announced Ye’s intent to buy the platform on 18 October 2022. They sad: “Parlement Technologies are pleased to announced that it has entered into an agreement in prinicpal for Ye, formally known as Kanye West, to aquire the Parler platform.
“The aquisition ensures Parler a future role in creating an uncancellable ecosystem where all voices are welcomed.”
The rapper himself said: “In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial, we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves.” It comes after a string of sensitive incidents from Ye.
In an intervew the Drink Champs podcast, he said that George Floyd - who Ye has marched for and donated money to his family - died from drug abuse rather than the knee on his neck. He added: “If you look the guy’s knee wasn’t even on his neck like that.” Floyd’s family are now suing the fashion designer for his comments.
Prior to this, Ye made comments on Instagram in which he accused fellow rapper Diddy of being controlled by Jewish people, which led him to be banned from the site. It came after Diddy criticised his latest fashion line which included ‘White Lives Matter’ across the items in large letters.
Additionally, Ye turned to Twitter after being banned from Instagram, posting a tweet which he said he would go “death con 3” on Jewish people. It led to his tweet being removed for violating the platform’s rules.
Parler CEO George Farmer said of Ye’s move to buy the platform: “This deal 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.”
Who is George Farmer?
George Farmer is the current CEO of Parler. He took up the role in May 2021.
Prior to his work as CEO, Farmer graduated with a degree in Theology from Oxford University, where he was also a member of the infamous Bullingdon Club. He would go on to donate to the Brexit Party campaign, as well as going to stand as a candidate for the party.