Controversial rapper and apparel businessman Kanye West announced Monday he's planning to acquire the conservative social media networking platform Parler.
"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, who goes by the name of "Ye," said in a statement.
App owner Parlement Technologies, based in Nashville, Tennessee, hailed Ye for "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."
Ye's Instagram and Twitter accounts were restricted in early October because of antisemitic posts.
The app, often used by supporters of former President Donald Trump, was swept in controversy over the role it played in the Jan. 6 attacks at the Capitol building, which led tech companies, including Google and Amazon, to blacklist the service.
Parler was created in September 2018 as a free speech alternative to apps like Twitter and Facebook. Its founding investor is Rebekah Mercer, a Trump supporter and major Republican donor.
It has amassed little over 250,000 monthly active users on its iOS and Android apps, according to market intelligence platform Sensor Towe, Tech Crunch.
The deal is expected too close during the fourth quarter of 2022; Parler will continue to get technical support from Parlement Technologies, including access to its private cloud services and its data center infrastructure. No estimate on the purchase price was immediately released.
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