(arsTECHNICA) Kanye West has struck a deal to buy the “free speech” social network Parler, about a week after antisemitic posts got West locked out of his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
“Parlement Technologies announced today that it has entered into an agreement in principle to sell Parler, the world’s pioneering uncancelable free speech platform, to Ye (formerly known as Kanye West),” the company said in a press release. “Ye has become the richest Black man in history through music and apparel and is taking a bold stance against his recent censorship from Big Tech, using his far-reaching talents to further lead the fight to create a truly non-cancelable environment.”
“The proposed acquisition will assure Parler a future role in creating an uncancelable ecosystem where all voices are welcome,” the press release also said.
Instagram locked West’s account and deleted content after he shared a post that seemed to suggest rapper Sean Combs is controlled by Jewish people. Elon Musk then welcomed West back to Twitter, calling him “my friend.”
West then posted a tweet saying, “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.” Twitter responded by locking West’s account and removing the tweet, even as Musk—who could complete an acquisition of Twitter this month—reached out to West personally. “Talked to Ye today & expressed my concerns about his recent tweet, which I think he took to heart,” Musk wrote.
West pledges to protect “conservative opinions”
Parler was launched in 2018 as a sort of conservative alternative to Twitter. Its hands-off approach to moderation attracted Republican politicians and media personalities, along with a variety of right-wing extremists.
“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 said in Parler’s announcement of the pending acquisition.
Financial terms were not announced, but the deal could be completed quickly. “Under the terms of their agreement in principle, the parties intend to enter into a definitive purchase agreement and expect to close during the fourth quarter of 2022,” Parler’s owner said.
Parlement Technologies CEO George Farmer claimed that West’s purchase of the social network “will change the world and change the way the world thinks about free speech. 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 would help West run Parler after the acquisition is completed. The deal terms “include ongoing technical support from Parlement and the use of private cloud services via Parlement’s private cloud and data center infrastructure.”
“Parlement will be honored to help him achieve his goals,” Farmer said.