Hip hop star and businessman Kanye West has agreed in principle to acquire social media platform Parler. The decision was announced after the rapper, who has legally changed his name to Ye, was suspended on Instagram and Twitter.
“This deal will change the world, and change the way the world thinks about free speech,” Parler CEO George Farmer said in a statement on Monday.
He added that “Ye is making a groundbreaking move into the free speech media space and will never have to fear being removed from social media again.”
According to Parler, the acquisition ensures “a future role in creating an uncancelable ecosystem where all voices are welcome.”
“In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves,” West said in a statement released by Parlement Technologies, Parler’s parent company.
Parlement added that West was “taking a bold stance against his recent censorship from Big Tech.”
Instagram and Twitter suspended West’s account this month and deleted messages directed at Jewish people. West claimed that rapper Diddy, whose real name is Sean Combs, was “controlled by the Jews” , and accused Jews of seeking to suppress those who oppose their “agenda.”
The remarks were condemned by the American Jewish Committee.
Parler was founded in 2018 by John Matze and Rebekah Mercer, the daughter of billionaire Rober Mercer, the co-owner of conservative news website Breitbart.
In the wake of the storming of the US Capitol building by supporters of former President Donald Trump in January 2021, the social network was removed from Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store, while Amazon dropped it from its web hosting service. The companies argued at the time that Parler permitted “violent content.”
After weeks of being offline, Parler found a new host. The social network also introduced stronger content moderation, which allowed its return to the App Store in May 2021 and the Google Store last month.