Kanye West, the rapper who also goes by the name Ye, has reached an agreement to purchase the “uncashable platform for free speech” Parler, the two said in a statement Monday.
As part of the deal, the financial terms of which have not been disclosed, Parler has agreed to sell entirely to West, but the social network will continue to receive technical support from Parliament Technologies, including access to its private cloud services and its data center infrastructure. The deal is expected to close in the current quarter.
West, who accused Meta and Twitter of censoring him in recent weeks, said in a statement: “In a world where conservative opinions are considered controversial, we need to make sure we have the right to express ourselves freely.”
West, who also runs clothing and sports businesses, was banned from his Instagram and Twitter accounts earlier this month for posting anti-Semitic messages.
Parler, which is considered a haven for conservatives and has attracted fans of former President Donald Trump, returned to the Google Play Store last month after it was pulled by Google after the Capital riots in January 2021 for its role in instigating violence.
“The proposed acquisition will ensure Parler’s future role in creating a non-cancellable ecosystem where all voices are welcome,” the company said in a statement.
Based in Nashville, Parler was founded in 2018 by John Matze and Rebekah Mercer, the daughter of billionaire hedge fund manager and Breitbart founder Robert Mercer. The company, which has been trying to fight censorship and present itself as “free speech,” added a content moderation layer to the platform last year in a bid to be reinstated by Apple’s App Store.
Parler has accumulated just over 250,000 monthly active users on its iOS and Android apps, according to market intelligence platform Sensor Tower. (The data was shared with londonbusinessblog.com by an industry executive.) In a survey of more than 10,000 people, Pew Research reported earlier this month, 38% had heard of Parler.
George Farmer, CEO of Parliament Technologies, said in a statement: “This deal will change the world and change the way the world thinks about free speech. Ye is making a groundbreaking step in the free speech media space and will never fear again.” “to be removed from social media. Ye proves once again that he is one step ahead of the traditional media narrative. Parliament will be honored to help him achieve his goals.”