What just happened? All the current chaos at Twitter means it’s rarely out of the headlines these days, but now an alternative social media platform is making news. Parler, which has long positioned itself as a non-censored version of Twitter, is no longer being acquired by Ye, also known as Kanye West.
Parler’s parent company Parlement Technologies said in October that it had entered into an agreement in principle for the musician to acquire the “pioneering uncancelable free speech platform” for an undisclosed amount. The deal was expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022, but it has now been called off.
“Parlement Technologies has confirmed that the company has mutually agreed with Ye to terminate the intent of sale of Parler,” the company said in a statement. “This decision was made in the interest of both parties in mid-November.”
In response to numerous media inquiries, Parlement Technologies would like to confirm that the company has mutually agreed with Ye to terminate the intent of sale of Parler. This decision was made in the interest of both parties in mid-November.
— Parler (@parler_app) December 1, 2022
Parler didn’t seem put off by the controversy surrounding Ye after his anti-semitic posts on Instagram and Twitter resulted in his accounts being restricted/suspended, which may have prompted his decision to buy the rival firm.
Interestingly, news of the deal falling apart came soon after Ye appeared on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars program and told the host, “I like Hitler,” and that he does “not like the word evil next to Nazis.”
Alex Jones to Kanye West: You’re not Hitler. You’re not a Nazi. You don’t deserve to be demonized
Ye: I see good things about Hitler also.
I honestly did Nazye that coming
— ًً (@politicalplayer) December 1, 2022
Parler never said whether these comments had any bearing on the deal falling through—the company claims the decision was made in mid-November. A spokesperson cited “Ye’s recent and ongoing business difficulties” for the collapse.
Ye, diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2016, was recently dropped by Adidas, a move estimated to have cut the rapper’s net worth from $1.9 billion to $400 million. He’s also been dropped by Gap, Balenciaga, CAA, and many more.
An anonymous potential buyer of Parler told The Verge that the company’s buying price was wildly inflated, and they were shocked by how few people used the platform: as low as 50,000 daily active users.
Parler could see its audience shrink even further as Elon Musk reduces Twitter’s moderation and reinstates previously banned accounts. The EU has warned that turning Twitter into a free-for-all could help Vladimir Putin by spreading Russian propaganda about the Ukraine war.