Ye, the embattled rap and fashion mogul formerly known as Kanye West, has agreed to buy conservative social media platform Parler, West and the company said in a joint statement Monday.
West has been engulfed in controversy in recent weeks after being suspended from Twitter and Instagram after making anti-Semitic statements. Taking over the platform will ensure the free exchange of opinions, he said.
“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 the statement.
Parlement Technologies is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement in principle for Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, to acquire the Parler platform. The acquisition ensures Parler a future role in creating an uncancelable ecosystem where all voices are welcome. pic.twitter.com/KXdhV71prl
— Parler (@parler_app) October 17, 2022
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although the company announced Sunday it had secured $16 million in funding and intended to buy Irvine, California-based cloud company Dynascale. The purchase would allow Parler to avoid reliance on Big Tech cloud services. The new funding brings to $56 million the total investment Parler has brought in, the company said.
George Farmer, CEO of Parler parent company Parlement Technologies and husband of The Daily Wire’s Candace Owens, said West’s investment “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,” Farmer said in a statement. “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.”
Farmer, the son of Michael Farmer, a British Conservative member of the upper chamber of the U.K. Parliament, was named CEO in May 2021. That move followed a battle between top shareholder Rebekah Mercer and former Parler CEO John Matze.
Owens and West are friends and generated headlines when they donned “White Lives Matter” shirts earlier this month at a Paris fashion show.
West, who is reportedly worth $2 billion, most recently gave an interview to a web TV show called Drink Champs in which he continued the tirade against Jews that got him locked out of his social media accounts, which have tens of millions of followers.
“What they do is, the Jewish community, especially in the music industry, … entertainment, period, they’ll take one of us, the brightest of us, right, that could really feed a whole village,” West said in one of several disturbing remarks. “And they take and milk us until we die and then Stevie Wonder’s kid gotta get a job.”
Within the last month, it was announced that West has been dropped by JP Morgan Chase Bank, severed ties with Gap, and may soon lose a lucrative partnership with Adidas.
Parler launched in 2018 as a conservative rival to Twitter. At least two other new platforms are attempting to fill the same void, former President Trump’s Truth Social and Gettr, a platform founded by former Trump advisor Jason Miller.
After Parler was criticized for being used by right-wing groups ahead of the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, tech companies turned on it. Google and Apple stopped offering its app in their stores and Amazon Web Services shut off its cloud services. Apple and Google have both since reinstated the app in their stores.