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Man to Buy Website

Man to Buy Website

Kanye West, who is going by Ye and also making headlines for other reasons these days, is said to be buying Parler. We say “said to be” because, as we all know, acquiring social media sites can run up against unforeseen obstacles even in the unproblematic of situations, which this is emphatically not.

For Ye’s part, he is locked out of Twitter and Instagram for spreading widely condemned antisemitic posts and conspiracies. Ye and his allies have characterized this as a “free speech” issue, ignoring the fact that being free to say something does not exactly free you from the consequences, especially if you run afoul a private company’s TOS.

The benefit of Parler, which has positioned itself as the “uncancelable free speech platform,” is that you can post pretty much anything over there. “In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial, we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves,” Ye said.

But Parler’s got its own issues. The lack of oversight has made it the go-to website for vaccine misinformation, election conspiracies, bigotry and misogyny. This might be the reason Parler has struggled to find a wide audience, with the Nashville-based site netting about 40,000 daily active users. By contrast, Twitter has about 237 million. Parler has not released any details about how much Ye is spending for Parler, but the deal is expected to close before the end of the year. We’ll see.

Ye’s been courting controversy even more than usual lately. After netting some conservative accolades for ruminating on conservative talking points in an interview with Tucker Carlson earlier this year, Vice Magazine released unaired footage of the interview that showed far more troubling statements. In comments left on the cutting room floor, Ye spouted off more antisemitism and said he believed “fake children” had been planted in his house who were actually “professional actors” sent to “sexualize” his children. In the edited broadcast, Carlson told listeners that he’d “rarely heard a man speak so honestly and so movingly about what he believes.” And that’s not to mention the difficult divorce battle between Ye and Kim Kardashian and their children.

For its part, Parler went through a lot of drama in the fallout of the attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when many videos from the scene of the riot were posted to the site. Amazon stopped hosting the site after all that, kicking off a bitter internal battle that ended up ousting CEO John Matze. Apple and Google also stopped hosting the app, after an investigation found posts that “glorified Nazism” and “encouraged violence, denigrated various ethnic groups, races and religions.”

Parler has vowed to get better at monitoring hate speech, and Apple and Google have allowed the app back into their stores. But while is was on its heels, other conservatives attempted to launch their own Twitter knockoffs, like former President Donald Trump’s TruthSocial and former Trump adviser Jason Miller’s Gettr. Ye might be able to elevate Parler’s fortunes in a newly crowded field. But his business acumen isn’t exactly the most urgent thing going on in his personal life right now.

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