Kanye West (aka Ye) was locked out of his Twitter and Instagram accounts last week after a weekend of anti-Semitic posts. The saga has now taken a sharp turn with the announcement that the hip-hop mogul is acquiring the contentious “free speech” social media app Parler.
The transaction appears to be moving quickly, with the Parler (Parlement technologies) company stating that the parties expect to close the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2022. The cost was not disclosed.
“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 anti-Semitic message, which the company eventually removed.
A spokesperson for Twitter said at the time, “The account in question has been locked due to a violation of Twitter’s policies.” The rapper also posted a screenshot on Instagram with another anti-Semitic message, which was also blocked by the site.
According to the above-mentioned Twitter post, Elon Musk, a potential future Twitter owner, expressed concerns to West about his tweet, saying, “I think he took [them] to heart.” He appears to have done so by purchasing a competing service.
Meanwhile, Parler was only recently reinstated on Google Play after being banned in January 2021 in the aftermath of the US Capitol insurgency.
According to a Google spokesperson at the time, the app was removed due to a lack of “moderation policies and enforcement that remove egregious content such as posts that incite violence.” Apple removed the app for similar reasons, but it was restored earlier this month.
As implied by their comments, Parler and West see the acquisition as a boon to free speech. However, if Parler allows racist, sexist, or anti-Semitic posts like the ones that got Kanye kicked off Twitter and Instagram, it may be removed from the App Store and Play Store again.
Parler launched in 2018, but gained traction after Donald Trump was banned from Twitter and Ted Cruz and others announced their plans to use the app.
Despite claiming to be the “free speech social network,” some Twitter users have reported being banned after joining the app to troll conservatives. Parler is also in competition with Trump’s own Truth social media app.