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Okay, so I guess we have to cover Kanye West’s move to acquire ‘free speech’ social media app Parler after being kicked off of every other social media app.
So the story goes like this – over the past two weeks, Kanye West (or just ‘Ye’ as he’s apparently now calling himself) has seemingly deliberately pushed his limits on both Twitter and Instagram by posting horrendously offensive and anti-Semitic remarks which we won’t re-publish here.
Ye was then kicked off of both apps – though in-between being booted from the two, incoming Twitter chief Elon Musk did seek to provide some support for the rap star.
Talked to ye today & expressed my concerns about his recent tweet, which I think he took to heart
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 11, 2022
Probably doesn’t bode great for the coming changes at Twitter – though Musk very clearly doesn’t support Ye’s comments either. Whether he plans to have a private chat with every user who posts offensive tweets, as opposed to banning them, remains to seen.
So, Ye posts misguided, offensive things, which clearly break the rules in each app, and is subsequently suspended from both. To which Ye says:
“When I got kicked off of Instagram and Twitter at the time, I knew it was time to acquire my own platform. People had talked about it and mentioned this idea for years, but enough was enough.”
I don’t know who talked about or mentioned it, but that’s then led to Ye moving to acquire Parler, which had, at one stage at least, been the new home to free speech advocates who were upset that they weren’t allowed to say offensive things on other apps.
As per Parler:
“Parlement Technologies announced today that it has entered into an agreement in principle to sell Parler, the world’s pioneering uncancelable free speech platform, to Ye (formerly known as Kanye West). Ye has become the richest Black man in history through music and apparel and is taking a bold stance against his recent censorship from Big Tech, using his far-reaching talents to further lead the fight to create a truly non-cancelable environment.”
So, yeah, Kanye West is the owner of his own social media platform now. Should be fine.
Parler, of course, has had its fair share of controversies and challenges as the most ‘uncancellable’ platform.
After reaching the top of the download charts in late 2020, as conservative users sought a more open discussion platform in response to what they viewed as censorship on the major social apps, Parler then continuously skirted various regulations and rules around what it could allow in its app, in alignment with the parameters of host providers and platforms.
Just months later, in the wake of the Capitol Riots (January 2021), Parler was all but killed off when both Apple and Google removed the app from their respective stores due its lax moderation, which had allowed too many posts that encouraged violence and crime. Amazon then also refused to host Parler on its web-hosting service due to repeated violations of its rules.
Parler saved itself by rolling out some moderation concessions, in order to align with the requirements of each platform – which, as you would expect, caused some upset within its core user base. And when the app was also found to be censoring certain posts, and removing certain users, critics quickly turned on the app, accusing it of being no better than the other platforms in bowing to censorship rules, in counter to its free speech ethos.
Yet, despite most of its target audience eventually switching over to the Trump-owned Truth Social instead, Parler still has around 725,000 active users, according to stats provided by data.ai. That’s a big drop-off from the 5.2 million users it had at peak – but then again, maybe, with a celebrity owner to hype it up, Parler will once again re-capture user interest, and become semi-semi-relevant once again.
I mean, it’s bound to become relevant as an oddity, with Kanye likely to post some absurdly offensive updates to his own app.
That seems like a path, once again, to further app store bans, effectively cancelling the uncancellable app for a second time.
Maybe that’s the point? Maybe West is trying to show that his opinions will be policed no matter where he goes, silenced by the faceless overseers who seek to sanitize our thoughts, and control our minds, for the maintenance of an orderly society.
In which case, I suspect he will succeed, though not for the reasons that he thinks.
It would be an expensive statement piece either way.
Look, I don’t know what’s going on in Ye’s head, nobody does. West’s public behavior has been erratic for years, and it does seem like there are at least some ongoing concerns for his welfare and mental state among those closest to him.
As such, I hope that he can find whatever it is he needs in this new project, without causing harm or offense to others in the process.
But the indicators are not pointing in a good direction.