What is Parler? Everything you need to know about the controversial ‘free speech’ social media platform, as Kanye West reveals plans to buy it

  • Parler is a social media app similar to Twitter but with fewer restrictions 
  • It is billed as ‘the world’s pioneering uncancelable free speech platform’
  • This has made it popular with Trump supporters and far-right extremists
  • Kanye West may buy the app after being banned from Twitter and Instagram

Kanye West hit the headlines this morning, after revealing plans to buy the controversial app Parler. 

Parler bills itself as ‘the world’s pioneering uncancelable free speech platform’, where users are able to post text, images and videos on their page, and follow others they are interested in.

While this may sound similar to Twitter, the difference comes in the lack of restrictions regarding what can be posted, which has resulted in it being used to share hate speech and misinformation.

Here’s everything you need to know about Parler, including what it is, why it’s controversial, and why Kanye West wants to buy it. 

Parler has been criticised for not policing hate speech – such as antisemitism – with users including those that have been banned from other mainstream social networks

With limited content moderation, the Parler app is aimed at users who feel Facebook and Twitter stifle free speech

Kanye West is set to buy the ‘free speech platform’ Parler, the company behind the social media app has said

What is Parler?

Parler is a micro-blogging app that styles itself as being the anti-tech social networking service.

Users are able to share posts of up to 1,000 characters, and keep up to date with content shared by accounts they follow.

They can also direct message each other, re-share content with an ‘Echo’ – its equivalent of a retweet – and view posts from accounts they do not follow on a ‘Discover’ tab.

Its community guidelines promise that the platform will be ‘viewpoint-neutral’ and that ‘removing community members or member-provided content [will] be kept to the absolute minimum.’

As a result, it has become popular with the American far-right, including Donald Trump supporters, conservatives, conspiracy theorists and extremists.

Because Parler doesn’t label or moderate posts, claims that Democrats stole the US presidency proliferated after Joe Biden was announced the winner of the 2020 election

Parler is a micro-blogging app that styles itself  as being the anti-tech social networking service.

Users are able to share posts of up to 1,000 characters, and keep up to date with content shared by accounts they follow.

They can also direct message each other, re-share content with an ‘Echo’ – its equivalent of a retweet – and view posts from accounts they do not follow on a ‘Discover’ tab.

Its community guidelines promise that the platform will be ‘viewpoint-neutral’ and that ‘removing community members or member-provided content [will] be kept to the absolute minimum.’

As a result, it has become popular with the American far-right, including Donald Trump supporters, conservatives, conspiracy theorists and extremists.

Who owns Parler now?

Parlement Technologies currently owns Parler, but this parent company only formed last month.

This is because the Parler team acquired a cloud company called Dynascale, and together they formed Parlement Technologies.

The move was made to allow the team to expand from just the app into building infrastructure that could support businesses at risk of being banned by mainstream providers.

Parler was founded in 2018 by software engineer John Matze, and billed itself as an unbiased alternative to larger social media platforms that supported free speech.

Matze claims he was fired by the company’s board in January 2021, and conservative activist Mark Meckler was made interim CEO.

Brexit party donor George Farmer took over from Meckler in May, becoming CEO permanently.

Parler grew hugely in popularity during the US election in 2020, and had a particular spike after Joe Biden was announced as the winner.

It also topped the App Store in January 2021 when President Trump was banned from Facebook or Twitter for inciting violence at the Capitol. 

Shortly after, both Apple and Google removed the app from their respective stores, before it went offline completely when Amazon Web Services cancelled its hosting websites.

Versions of the app with content filters have since been re-added to the Apple and Google app stores, and it currently has over 16 million registered users.

Parler was founded in 2018 and billed itself as an unbiased alternative to larger social media platforms that supported free speech. Its CEO is currently Brexit party donor George Farmer (pictured), who took over from its co-founder last year

Why is it controversial?

Parler is seen as a controversial app because it has limited content moderation, and has become popular with those with extreme views.

Many Parler users have been banned from other major platforms like YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram for violating terms of service.

It has also attracted conspiracy theorists, hate speech and even calls for violence.

For example, in 2020, a police chief from Marshall, Michigan called Lang Holland resigned after a Parler post surfaced in which he called for ‘death to all Marxist Democrats.’

Parler went offline in January 2021 as it was cut off by major service providers that accused it of failing to limit violent content related to the Capitol riots.

Why does Kanye West want to buy it?

The acquisition of the social media platform comes in response to what Kanye West calls his ‘recent censorship from Big Tech’.

West’s Twitter and Instagram accounts were recently blocked because of antisemitic posts by the rapper.

‘In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves,’ West – who joined the platform on Monday – said, according to the statement.

‘This deal will change the world, and change the way the world thinks about free speech,’ Parlement Technologies CEO George Farmer added.

‘Ye is making a groundbreaking move into the free speech media space and will never have to fear being removed from social media again.

‘Once again, Ye proves that he is one step ahead of the legacy media narrative. Parlement will be honored to help him achieve his goals.’

The financial terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed. 

Its announcement comes after West, 45, continued his attacks on Jewish people by saying that ‘Jewish media’ blocked a recent interview on the Shop podcast.

He also claimed – contrary to the coroner’s report – that fentanyl caused George Floyd’s death in 2020.

The acquisition of the social media platform comes in response to what Kanye West (pictured) calls his ‘recent censorship from Big Tech’. West’s Twitter and Instagram accounts were recently blocked because of antisemitic posts by the rapper

Kanye West’s Controversies

GAP

Kanye West has formally notified Gap that he is terminating their partnership.

The artist’s lawyers sent a letter to the company on Thursday, September 15 to notify them of the termination, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The letter alleged that Gap breached their agreement by not releasing apparel as planned, or opening stores.

The contract with Gap, signed in June 2020, is good for for another eight years. 

Drama: Kanye West has formally notified Gap that he is terminating their partnership 

The Wall Street Journal viewed the letter.

The Yeezy Gap merchandise already available in stores will remain there and still be available for purchase, per the letter.

It also said that the company was required to sell 40% of the Yeezy Gap merch in stores during the latter part of 2021.

Only one item from the collection went on sale last fall, and it was only available online and not in a store.

No Yeezy Gap store has opened yet; the company was required to open five retail shops by July 31, 2023. 

The Yeezy Gap by Balenciaga merch debuted in stores in July with more coming this fall. 

Merchandise made in collaboration with Balenciaga for Gap will not be affected. 

Three months after he signed the deal, Kanye threatened to withhold his line unless he got a board seat.

In August, Kanye criticized Gap and spoke to its executives directly: ‘You have to really give me the position to be Ye and let me do what I’m thinking, or I have to do the thinking somewhere else.’ 

That same month, Kanye came under fire after he made the decision to display his new Yeezy line in garbage bags at GAP stores after critics complained that he was mocking homeless people.

The rapper told FOX News’ Eric Shawn at the time that he was just trying to challenge conventional traditions in the way we dress and make clothing that’s more egalitarian and not pretentious.

‘I’m an innovator and I’m not here to sit up and apologize for my ideas,’ Kanye said.


Kanye West ‘s Yeezy Gap collaboration engineered by Balenciaga was released earlier this year

He also pointed out that the bags are not ‘garbage’ bags but actually construction bags and the reason for the bags is so people can informally reach in and grab what they want to buy – adding that the goal is to make life easier and informal so we can all, basically, dress in the dark. 

Twitter users expressed confusion over his bizarre vision after photos were posted of his clothing stuffed in large black bags, rather than on hangers or neatly folded in piles. 

The father-of-four sparked controversy for saying on his Instagram account that inspiration behind his fashion label, Yeezy, was ‘the homeless.’ 

In January, a Yeezy GAP spokesperson told The Post: ‘Ye has a deep and solution-oriented commitment to addressing issues surrounding homelessness.’

In November 2021, Kanye met with charitable organizations and came up with strategies in an attempt to ease the rampant problem in the city, according to TMZ.

Kanye West has been roasted on social media after fans complained that his new Yeezy line for GAP has been displayed in trash bags, at the rapper’s own request

ADIDAS

Earlier this month, Kanye accused Adidas of seizing creative control over the Yeezy brand and stealing his design ideas to produce shoes similar to his Boost trainers. 

He also claimed that the shoe company ripped off his design for slides.

‘No one should be held in that position where people can steal from them and say we’re just paying you to shut up,’ he told Bloomberg. ‘That destroys innovation. That destroys creativity. That’s what destroyed Nikola Tesla.’

He’s hammered Adidas executives with a series of mocking Instagram posts until, he claims, his lawyers stepped in and asked him to stop.

In some of the posts, he superimposed Adidas executive Daniel Cherry’s head on another person’s body and created mocking videos of the corporate leader.

Earlier this month, Kanye also posted and deleted a fake New York Times newspaper that falsely claimed Adidas CEO Kasper Rørsted had ‘died’ at 60.

The rapper wrote the caption: ‘I’m not here to be liked I’d you don’t like it leave’ [sic], he said.

Yikes: Earlier this month, Kanye also posted and deleted a fake New York Times newspaper that falsely claimed Adidas CEO Kasper Rørsted had ‘died’ at 60 

Weeks prior, Kanye posted another fake NY Times newspaper front page announcing the ‘death’ of Pete Davidson and Kim Kardashian’s relationship – after they had split.

He later reposted it and put a new caption: ‘God loves Us;’ it is still up on his Instagram page.

Soon after, Kanye posted a snap of Daniel Cherry, who is the SVP/General Manager of Adidas. 

Earlier this month – after nearly a decade of collaborating together, Kanye fired a shot at Adidas for ‘blatant copying’ of his Yeezy slides.

West fired a direct shot at Kasper, stating, ‘To Kasper I’m not standing for this blatant copying no more.’

‘To all sneaker culture To every ball player rapper or even if you work at the store This is for everyone who wants to express themselves but feel they can’t cause they’ll loose their contract or be called crazy,’ he continued.

Adidas first unveiled their new Adilette slides earlier this month, which will retail at $55, and the 45-year-old rapper is none too happy about it.

 Earlier this month: West fired a direct shot at Kasper, stating, ‘To Kasper I’m not standing for this blatant copying no more;’ Kasper seen March 14, 2018

‘These shoes represent the disrespect that people in power have to the talent. This shoe is a fake Yeezy made by adidas themselves I’m not talking to DC about this either Kasper come talk to me. Happy Monday,’ West concluded.

West and Adidas’ apparel and shoe deal was first announced in December 2013, with the first collection dropping in February 2015.

That line included his first shoe dubbed Yeezy Boosts, which were limited to just 9,000 pairs available only in New York City… which sold out in 10 minutes.

Adidas first unveiled their new Adilette slides earlier this month, which will retail at $55, and the 45-year-old rapper is none too happy about it.

West took to Instagram, blasting the shoe company and CEO Kasper Rorstad for the slides, which he dubbed, ‘fake Yeezys.’

Fake Yeezys: Earlier this month, Kanye took to Instagram, blasting the shoe company and CEO Kasper Rorstad for the slides, which he dubbed, ‘fake Yeezys’

Real Yeezys: The real Yeezys slides Kanye West sold through his deal with Adidas

JP MORGAN

Ye also went after JPMorgan Chase, where he holds much of his money after switching from a small Wyoming bank, for not backing him in his war against the popular clothing brands.

‘I’ve went to JP Morgan but of course they won’t give me no deal flow cause Jin(g) Ulrich is on the board of both Adidas and JP Morgan. What shoe company will give me control. I need to be the head of the board and chief decision maker,’ he posted.

Jing Ulrich is the Chase vice chair of investment banking.

Ye also tried to get banking titan Jamie Dimon on the phone, but was ghosted by the financier. 

‘I feel like there’s a lot of controlling and handling to suppress my ability to affect the American economy and industry,’ the rapper said of Chase.

 

 

Source: Read Full Article