Rapper, entrepreneur and hip hop billionaire, Kanye West is in the news again, and this time it’s because he’s making a significant business move. Beyond cutting ties with Balenciaga, taking aim at the Kardashians and blasting Adidas, the rapper has now decided that he wants to buy the social media platform Parler.
The Parler social media app only recently returned to Android’s Play Store after it was banned in 2021. The social media application was removed from the store last year after the USA’s Capitol riots due to it being used as a forum to perpetuate hate speech and incite violence. However, now that it is back, it has returned but under the ownership of Ye.
The app’s developer, Parlement Technologies, has announced that after much deliberation and several negotiations, they have finally reached an agreement with Ye and are selling the “pioneering uncancelable free speech platform”.
The platform gained popularity during Trump’s presidency in the USA as social media users saw guidelines surrounding hate speech become more stringent and restrictive. Parler is a pro-free speech application where users can say and post exactly what they feel without fear of repercussion.
About the current state of free speech, West has told the media that “In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial, we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves.” Although Kanye’s intentions in purchasing the platform may be pure and benign, less-policed platforms such as Reddit and Discord can often cultivate hate groups and breed conspiratorial ideas.
West is an active user of the site, which markets itself as a “viewpoint-neutral social media app dedicated to freedom of expression, civil discourse and user privacy.” This has come after West’s short-lived ban from Instagram and Twitter. It seems that now he no longer wants to play by Zuckerberg’s rules and will instead have his own social media site where he makes the rules. This controversial move may lead to an app that is centred around hate.