Parler: what is the social media app Kanye West is buying?

Kanye West - the man in the mirror looking to make a change
Kanye West - the man in the mirror looking to make a change   -   Copyright  Reuters
By Euronews  with Reuters

What a month it's been for the US rapper Kanye West, who's legally known as Ye. 

Relatively fresh from causing controversy with his "White Lives Matter" t-shirts at Paris Fashion Week to getting kicked off Twitter and Instagram for making comments widely seen as anti-Semitic, he now wants to take social media matters into his own hands. 

Ye has reportedly agreed in principle to buy social media platform Parler, which is popular among U.S. conservatives. So far, so familiar it seems...

Here is the breakdown about the social media platform.

What is Parler?

Parler was founded in 2018 as a self-styled free speech platform. Its hands-off approach to content moderation has made it popular among U.S. conservatives who disagree with content limits on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

However, Parler's less stringent rules have gotten it into trouble with tech giants. After the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump, Apple Inc. and Alphabet's Google took Parler off their app stores, saying the company had not taken adequate measures to prevent posts inciting violence. Amazon.com Inc also temporarily stopped hosting the platform, effectively taking it offline. 

Apple and Google have both allowed Parler back on their platforms after the app undertook content moderation measures, including features to block abusive users and remove content that could incite violence.

Why oh why is Ye doing this?

Ye's offer to buy Parler comes in response to his suspension from larger platforms. He believes Parler is a place for people like him who cannot express themselves on other sites, Ye told Bloomberg.

"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 Ye in a statement.

Ye's move comes as others including Trump and Tesla CEO Elon Musk have turned to social media ownership to combat censorship on prominent social media networks. Musk is in negotiations to buy Twitter and Trump started his own network called Truth Social.

Who owns Parler?

Parler is owned by Parlement Technologies Inc, created last month as part of a larger overhaul to focus on customers who risk being pushed off the internet.

Parlement's CEO is George Farmer, an active financial supporter of Britain's Brexit Party. Farmer is also married to Candace Owens, a prominent conservative commentator and Trump ally. She was also the woman pictured wearing a "White Lives Matter" t-shirt with Ye during his show at Paris Fashion Week.

How much is the deal worth?

Parler has not revealed the exact amount, but the Nashville-based company has raised about $56 million to date. It expects to close the deal before the end of this year.

Farmer declined to comment on whether the deal includes a break-up fee if either party terminates it.