Social network Parler is out of commission for the time being after its acquisition by Starboard, the owner of pro-conservative news outlets like American Wire News. Starboard shut down Parler on a temporary but indefinite basis to conduct a “strategic assessment” of the platform during the downtime, with the hope of integrating Parler’s audience into all its existing channels.
Parler was launched in 2018 as a self-proclaimed free speech alternative to Twitter, catering to communities that believed they’ve been censored or marginalized. It had few rules or moderation controls and became a haven for people with extreme views. The social platform drew flak in January 2021 after word that people involved in the Capitol attack used it to coordinate. Apple and Google kicked Parler off their respective app stores until it improved moderation and kept out users inciting violence.
Ye, a popular musician, offered to buy Parler from Parlement in late 2022 after being banned from Twitter for antisemitic posts. However, Ye called off the deal in mid-November through a mutual agreement that cited his “business difficulties” as a factor. Soon after, Parlement laid off most of its staff and pivoted to cloud services for businesses that believe they could be knocked offline for their content.
Starboard sees a market for communities that believe they’ve been censored or marginalized but considers a Parler revamp necessary. “No reasonable person believes that a Twitter clone just for conservatives is a viable business anymore,” the company says. While the social network is down, Starboard plans to conduct a strategic assessment of the platform and integrate Parler’s audience into all its existing channels.