U.S. rapper Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, has proposed buying Parler, the social media platform popular among American conservatives, parent Parlement Technologies said on Monday.
Nashville-based Parler, which has raised about $56 million US to date, said it expects the deal to close during the fourth quarter of 2022. It did not give a deal value.
The deal comes as Parler, which launched in 2018 and styled itself as a free speech space for those seeking an alternative to platforms such as Twitter, has been reinstated on Google and Apple’s app stores after being removed following the U.S. Capitol riots in January 2021.
Ye, who is also a fashion designer, has in the past few weeks terminated his partnership with apparel retailer Gap, while German sporting goods maker Adidas has put its business partnership with the rapper under review.
The rapper has also had problems with major social media platforms, being restricted a number of times.
Locked out of Instagram, Twitter accounts
Most recently, West was locked out of his Instagram account by Facebook parent Meta Platforms for posts condemned as antisemitic. He then moved to Twitter, posting for the first time in two years.
“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.
“This deal will change the world, and change the way the world thinks about free speech,” Parlement Technologies chief executive officer George Farmer said in Monday’s announcement of the deal.
“Ye is making a groundbreaking move into the free speech media space and will never have to fear being removed from social media again.”
Ye seemed to have joined Parler on Monday and had about 91 followers at the time of the announcement.
The American rapper had announced in 2020 that he would run for U.S. president, but later pulled out.
Parler has also garnered traction from supporters of Trump.
Last month, Parler created its new parent company, Parlement Technologies, as part of an overhaul.
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