Right-Wing Social Network Parler Temporarily Goes Dark After Acquisition By Starboard; Digital Media Conglomerate Vows To Expand The “Uncancelable Free Speech Platform”


Parler, the right-wing social network known for welcoming waves of conservative figures booted off other platforms in the wake of the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, is going dark after being acquired by digital media firm Starboard.

The buyer, founded in 2018 as Olympic Media, plans to revive Parler after a retooling and expand it into other business areas. “No reasonable person believes that a Twitter clone just for conservatives is a viable business anymore,” Starboard said in a statement. Parler’s recent pivot toward cloud and IT infrastructure will enable it to be a key part of its new parent’s effort to provide services to what it calls “unsupported online communities.” The goal, in the words of the statement, will be to leverage Parler, “the world’s pioneering uncancelable free speech platform,” to help create a home for other, like-minded digital players “away from the ad-hoc regulatory hand of platforms that hate them.”

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Kanye West Will No Longer Acquire Right-Wing Social Media Firm Parler

Similar to upstarts like Gettr and Gab, Parler started to gain a small following during the presidency of Donald Trump, when tensions grew about the role played by Big Tech and individual companies in terms of policing online content. Parler gained particular notoriety during the last weeks of Trump’s administration and in the early months of 2021 because of the decision by Twitter and other social media and tech companies to ban Trump and a number of far-right hate groups and individuals. With the influx of new users, many of whom had been involved in the attacks on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, Parler soon came under fire from tech providers like Amazon Web Services.

Financially hobbled, Parler reached an agreement last fall to be acquired by disgraced rapper Kanye West, but the parties abandoned the deal a few weeks later after West, who goes by Ye, intensified his spree of anti-Semitic and unhinged public comments.

Financial terms of the latest acquisition were not disclosed, but Starboard said it expects the deal to be accretive to its financials by the end of June.

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