Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has agreed to buy Parler, a social media platform that has been embraced by conservatives who departed Twitter over allegations of political censorship. Parlement Technologies, the parent company behind Parler, announced Monday that it plans to sell the social media platform to the hip-hop icon for an undisclosed amount. The deal would include technical support from Parlement, such as cloud services.
Ye said he was motivated to acquire the conservative social media service Parler by his belief that existing platforms like Instagram and Twitter are too restrictive when it comes to user speech.
“When I got kicked off of Instagram and Twitter at the time, I knew it was time to acquire my own platform,” Ye said in an interview with Bloomberg News on Monday. “People had talked about it and mentioned this idea for years, but enough was enough.”
The rapper and designer was recently restricted from posting on some major social media platforms for violating their content policies. Twitter Inc. removed an anti-Semitic post from Ye last week and locked his account just a day after he had returned to the platform for the first time in nearly two years. Meta Platforms Inc.’s Instagram also deleted posts over anti-Semitic language.
Ye said Parler is for people like him, who have been penalized by much bigger platforms.
“We’re using this as a net for the people who have been bullied by the thought police to come and speak their mind,” he said. “Express how you feel. Express what’s tied up inside of you. Express what’s been haunting you. I use social media as my therapist.”
Billionaire Elon Musk, who has an agreement to buy Twitter for $44 billion, says he spoke with Ye last week after Twitter froze his account. Ye said Musk didn’t advise him on buying Parler in that conversation, and he came to the decision on his own.
Ye said he is planning to have dinner with former U.S. President Donald Trump this week, and will invite him onto Parler. Ye said he’ll join Trump’s own alternative network, Truth Social, too.
Ye is buying his own social media platform at a time when the biggest tech firms are struggling with how to control and manage some of their largest users, and marks the continuing development of alternative social media sites.
“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 said in a statement on Monday.
Ye has recently faced restrictions from the major social media platforms for breaking content policies. Twitter removed a tweet from Ye last week about Jewish people, just a day after he returned to the platform for the first time in nearly two years. Instagram has also deleted posts.