Kanye West is buying controversial ‘free speech’ app Parler | Engadget
Last week, Kanye West (aka Ye) was locked out of his Twitter and Instagram accounts following a weekend of antisemitic posts. Now, the saga has taken a sharp turn with news that the hip-hop mogul is acquiring the controversial “free speech” social media app Parler. The deal appears to be happening quickly, with the company behind Parler (Parlement technologies) saying that the parties expect to close the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2022. The acquisition price was not revealed.
The proposed acquisition will assure Parler a future role in creating an uncancelable ecosystem where all voices are welcome,” said Parlement Technologies CEO Geroge Farmer. “In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves,” Kanye added.
Shortly after his return to Twitter, West posted an antisemitic message, which was eventually pulled by Twitter. “The account in question has been locked due to a violation of Twitter’s policies,” a spokesperson said at the time. The rapper also shared a screenshot on Instagram with another antisemitic message, and was similarly restricted by that site.
Talked to ye today & expressed my concerns about his recent tweet, which I think he took to heart
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 11, 2022
According to the Twitter post above, future (we think) Twitter owner Elon Musk expressed concerns about West’s tweet, saying “I think he took [them] to heart.” Apparently, he did so by purchasing a rival service.
Meanwhile, Parler was only recently reinstated to the Google Play after being banned in January 2021 following the US Capitol insurrection. A Google spokesperson said at the time that the removal was due to the app’s lack of “moderation policies and enforcement that remove egregious content like posts that incite violence.” Apple restored the app to the iOS store in May.
As the above comments suggest, Parler and West are lauding the acquisition as a boon for free speech. However, if Parler allows racist, sexist or antisemitic posts like the one that got Kanye removed from Twitter and Instagram, it would likely be quickly pulled again from the App Store and Google Play.
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