Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, has entered into an agreement to purchase Parler, a social media site popular with Trump loyalists, the company announced on Monday.
The surprise move comes days after Twitter and Instagram locked Ye’s accounts over a series of antisemitic posts that were widely condemned.
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Parler, which calls itself the “pioneering uncancelable free speech platform,” characterized the restrictions Twitter and Instagram placed on his accounts as censorship, arguing that Parler’s more hands-off approach to content moderation ensures that all voices can be heard.
“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 in a statement.
In practice, though, Parler has been a hotbed of vaccine misinformation, bigotry and right-wing conspiracies — content that usually does not expressly violate Parler’s guidelines.
Parler is the social media site of the Nashville-based parent company Parlement Technologies. It did not disclose how much Ye has agreed to purchase the social media site for, nor were any other terms of the deal revealed. But Parler officials said the deal is expected to close by the end of the year.