What’s that time-honored saying again—when God closes down a Twitter account, he opens up a 4chan thread? Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, is set to acquire the alternative social media platform Parler, an online space favored by many conservatives, per CNN Business. The news arrives just shortly after Ye was suspended from Twitter and Instagram following antisemitic remarks, including a threat to go “death con 3 on Jewish people.”
“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 shared in a statement released by Parler’s parent company Parlement Technologies.
Although Ye’s comments on the Jewish diaspora proved the final nail in his Twitter account’s coffin, the artist had been burning bridges on social media already. Just days before his antisemitic tweet, Ye faced social media criticism over a “White Lives Matter” shirt he walked at his Yeezy Season 9 Paris Fashion Week show. In defending the shirt, Ye shared public tirades against Gigi Hadid, Hailey Bieber, Vogue editor Gabriella Karefa Johnson, and more.
Although the exact terms of the deal with Parler have yet to be disclosed, Parlement Technologies has stated that it has yet to enter a definitive agreement with Ye. The company expects to close the deal in the fourth quarter of 2022, and has called West’s acquisition “a groundbreaking move into the free speech media space.” Per Parlement Technologies, the deal also means West “will never have to fear being removed from social media again.”
Founded in 2018, Parler took off as a so-called free speech haven during the 2020 election—that is, until it was removed from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store in the wake of the January 6 riots. Both Apple and Google based their decision on a claim that Parler failed to moderate violent and dangerous rhetoric on the platform. Parler has since been returned to both stores after agreeing to alter its content moderation practices.