Kanye West Agrees to Buy Parler, Company Says

 

Kanye West arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on February 9, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.

Evan Agostini | Presentation | AP

Kanye West, the superstar rapper who has made several inflammatory and anti-Semitic comments in recent weeks, has agreed in principle to buy conservative social media platform Parler, the app’s parent company said in a statement Monday.

“In a world where conservative opinions are considered controversial, we need to ensure we have the right to express ourselves freely,” West, who now names Ye, said in a statement released by Parler.

The move comes after Ye was locked out of his Twitter and Instagram accounts for anti-Semitic posts. In one post, Ye played on a long-standing anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that fellow rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs is controlled by Jews.

Yes’s net worth is reportedly $2 billion. Much of his wealth comes from his sneaker brand Yeezy and partnerships with Gap and Adidas. However, Ye recently cut ties with Gap and Adidas said it is also reviewing its relationship with him. JPMorgan Chase also parted ways with the rapper.

The platform, a favorite among American conservatives and used by supporters of former President Donald Trump, drew controversy last year for its role in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riots. That led to a number of technology companies including Google and Amazonto blacklist the service, making its app and website inaccessible.

However, in September, Google reinstated the app on its Play Store, stating that the company had changed some of its content moderation and enforcement policies. Apple restored the app to its App Store platform in April 2021.

Parler has sought to reduce its reliance on technology from other companies by building its own cloud infrastructure in-house. The company formed a new parent company called Parlement Technologies in September with the goal of providing its own cloud service for online business. “The future is unstoppable,” the company said at the time.

The terms of the deal include technical support for Parler from its parent company, as well as use of its private cloud services, according to Monday’s announcement.

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