And in doing so, the rapper, record producer and fashion designer goes up against Elon Musk and Donald Trump.
On Oct. 17, West, who legally changed his name to Ye, said he had signed a deal to buy conservative social media platform Parler. Terms were not disclosed.
Named after the French word “parler”, the platform was launched in 2018 as a “no censorship” alternative to mainstream platforms like Twitter Twitter and Facebook (META) .
Registrations soared during the 2020 presidential election, and the platform continued to attract not only supporters of President Donald Trump, but also an array of conspiracy theorists and far-right extremists.
After it emerged participants in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack used Talk to organize, Apple Store (AAPL) and Google Play (GOOGL) deleted Talk app from its platform.
Being banned from Twitter and rushing to buy Talk
“In a world where conservative views are seen as controversial, we need to make sure we have the right to speak freely,” West said of Parler’s emerging deal in a press release.
Parler’s announcement is a direct reaction to West being banned from his Instagram and Twitter. Last week, the old West temporarily locked down out of his account after a message in which he said he would go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE”.
The comment was a response to Instagram restricting West’s account and delete posts in which he attempted to claim that Sean “Diddy” Combs was “controlled” by Jews days earlier.
The comment plays in a centuries old conspiracy theory about the Jewish people who run the world.
Financial details of the deal are not yet available, but Ye is worth more than $2 billion while Reuters reported that Talk has raised around $56 million in funding so far.
Parliament Technologies CEO George Farmer said the deal would be completed before the end of the year and would include the use of Parliament’s private cloud services and technical support as part of the deal.
“Ye is taking a revolutionary step into the free speech media space and will never have to worry about being taken off social media again,” Farmer said in a statement. “[…] Parliament will be honored to help him achieve his goals.”
A page from Elon Musk’s book
While the backup that led up to it is different, West’s knee-jerk response to the policies of a social media platform mirrors another billionaire’s back and forth with Twitter.
In April, Tesla (TSLA) Founder Elon Musk has made a $44 billion bid to buy the social media platform. Musk at the time spoke of wanting to decrease the number of fake accounts and push the company toward a more “everything is fine” content moderation policy.
In a back-and-forth that lasted more than six months, Musk later reneged on the offer after claiming Twitter had covered up the number of bots on the platform. Twitter sued for the disruption caused by the withdrawn deal, and in early October Musk recommitted to the purchase.
Many conservatives acclaimed what they see as Musk and West’s life-saving free speech, but Musk and West point to something much more impulsive – West hadn’t used Twitter since posting “KANYE 2024” in November 2020.
“Welcome to Twitter, my friend! Elon Musk tweeted shortly before Kanye was banned for anti-Semitic tweets last week.