NO DEAL

What stopped Ye from buying Parler?

Parler took to Twitter to announce that its deal with Ye was called off in mid-November

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It’s hands off Parler for Ye.
It’s hands off Parler for Ye.
Photo: Michael Loccisano (Getty Images)

Parler’s plans to sell itself to Ye have fallen through.

Just over a month after the conservative social media app announced it had found a new owner in the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, the company took to Twitter yesterday (Dec. 2) to announce that the deal is off.

“Parlement Technologies would like to confirm that the company has mutually agreed with Ye to terminate the intent of sale of Parler,” the company said in its statement.

The association between Ye and the company wasn’t one for the ages. In fact, Ye seems to have joined Parler only on Oct. 17, likely after having his Twitter and Instagram accounts suspended. And he has only amassed around 55,000 followers on the Parler, an app infamous for conspiracy theories, versus the tens of millions he racked up on Instagram and Twitter.

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In any case, the deal was paper-thin—or perhaps thin as air, because there didn’t even seem to be any paper involved. What Parler called an “agreement principle” in October is now being referred to as an “intent to sell,” and the company never confirmed if there was any actual paperwork involved, Axios reported.

Meanwhile, Ye, who had his Twitter account reinstated just weeks ago, was booted again today (Dec. 2) after he went on a tweet rampage, which included sharing a picture of a Nazi Swastika merged with the Star of David. When one user asked Musk to “fix Kanye,” he replied, “I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended.”

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Ye shared a screenshot his Twitter profile being blocked on Truth Social—a Parler competitor which former president Donald Trump owns a majority stake in. (Trump, who was also banned and reinstated on Twitter, is yet to tweet but don’t hold your breath. He’ll probably stay exclusive to his own Truth Social.)

Why Ye wanted to buy Parler, in Ye’s words

“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’s statement about the Parler deal

Why is Ye not buying Parler anymore?

When the tentative deal was announced, Ye had just stirred up a storm with anti-semitic posts and a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt.

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For Parler, which prides itself as being “the premier global free speech platform,” controversial far-right ideologies are hardly problematic. It seemed like a match made in a boardroom.

However, under pressure from Apple and Google’s app stores, Parler has had to up its content moderation efforts. Ye’s self-moderation, meanwhile, is spiralling out of control by the day. News of the cancelled deal came just as a masked Ye praised Hitler in an interview with Alex Jones, the Infowars host who was recently ordered to pay $49 million in damages to families of victims for spreading disinformation about the Sandy Hook school shooting.

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Parler went out of its way to explain that Ye’s recent tirade had no bearing on the deal. The decision was made “in the interest of both parties” in mid-November, it said in its statement.

So what broke the deal? Money, possibly.

Ye’s precarious financial situation reportedly played a role in the deal collapse, a source familiar with the situation told Axios.

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Over the last two months, several brands have cut ties with Ye after his anti-semitic posts and comments. A breakup with Adidas cut both the German shoemaker and Ye deep. Adidas had to cut its yearly guidance in half because it stopped Yeezy sales, while Ye lost his billionaire tag. Losing the Adidas contract cost him 50% of his net worth.

A brief list of Parler’s controversies

Parler has been involved in several flagrant conspiracy theories and campaigns including, but not limited to:

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This post has been updated to add that Ye’s Twitter account has being suspended again.