After a weekend of antisemitic posts, Kanye West (aka Ye) had access to his Twitter and Instagram accounts temporarily disabled last week. News that the hip-hop mogul is buying the divisive "free speech" social media app Parler has taken the plot in a surprising new direction. According to the company behind Parler (Parlement technologies), the deal is moving quickly, with the parties expecting to close the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2022. Nobody seems willing to talk about how much they paid to get this company.
Parlement Technologies CEO George Farmer argued that the acquisition would secure Parler's future participation in building an uncancelable ecosystem in which all voices are heard. "We have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves in a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial," Kanye continued.
West made an antisemitic post shortly after his return to Twitter, and the company promptly removed it. In response to inappropriate behavior, Twitter "locked the account in question," a representative said. A similar ban was placed on the rapper's account after he posted a screenshot of an additional antisemitic message on Instagram.
Elon Musk, the likely future owner of Twitter, reportedly voiced concern over West's tweet, with Musk saying, "I think he took [them] to heart." It appears he did this by acquiring a competing service.
Parler, on the other hand, was banned from Google Play in the wake of the uprising in the US Capitol in January 2021 and has only just recently been allowed back in. In an official statement, Google explained that the app was taken down because it lacked "moderation policies and enforcement that remove egregious content like posts that incite violence." In May, Apple reinstated the app in the iOS App Store.
The above comments suggest that Parler and West see the acquisition as a positive for free expression. It's likely that Parler would be removed from the App Store and Google Play once again if it allowed racist, sexist, or antisemitic posts like the one that got Kanye banned from Twitter and Instagram.