Kanye West Is Buying A Controversial Social Media Platform After Being Canceled

Kanye West is buying the Twitter-clone social media platform Parler.

By Charlene Badasie | Published

Kanye West has agreed to buy the controversial social media platform Parler. The company announced the acquisition in a press release, which said it entered into an agreement with the singer in principle that’s expected to close later this year. The platform, which styles itself as a free speech alternative to Twitter, returned to various app stores last month after being removed for allowing posts that seek “to incite ongoing violence” in the United States.

The deal comes just over a week after Kanye West had his Twitter and Instagram accounts restricted over several Anti-Semitic posts. He also recently alienated fans and business partners with his interest in racist conspiracy theories and by wearing a provocative White Lives Matter t-shirt at Paris fashion week. “In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves,” the musician said in a statement.

Parlement Technologies said the deal with Kanye West would help create a social media ecosystem where all voices are welcome and no one can be canceled. In a message to the “Parler Family,” company CEO George Farmer said the current staff will still be working on the app. The platform also will continue to utilize Dynascale’s cloud services. The financial terms of the deal weren’t announced. But the company previously said it raised $56 million in funding from outside investors.

Farmer added that the deal would change the world, and change the way the world thinks about free speech, The Verge reports. Most notably, he is the husband of conservative influencer and commentator for right-wing outlets Candace Owens, who has visibly become close to Kanye West, leading his friends to believe she’s influencing him. Representatives for the 45-year-old didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kanye West’s net worth is reportedly $2 billion. Most of his money comes from his Yeezy sneakers brand and partnerships with Gap and Adidas. But due to his controversial statements, most of these businesses like JPMorgan Chase have severed ties with the rapper. While he’s been flagged and banned from popular social media platforms, Parler has welcomed him to theirs.

Soon to be owned by Kanye West, Parler is one of several right-wing-friendly platforms to emerge during the Donald Trump era. It gained popularity as the former president’s supporters claimed unfair treatment by Twitter and other apps. There’s also Gettr, which is run by former Trump advisor Jason Miller, and Trump’s own app, Truth Social, whose parent company is under federal investigation as it seeks to go public. A similar video platform called Rumble went public last month.

In recent years, Kanye West has expressed increasing support for right-wing causes. But his statements frequently tip over into controversy, espousing various conspiracy theories, including stating that fake children are being used to manipulate his own offspring. The singer was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2016 and has since spoken openly about his problems with his mental health. In 2019, he said that during manic episodes he becomes paranoid about everything, and everyone.