The rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has agreed to acquire the conservative-oriented social media app Parler, the platform announced early Monday.
Parler is a controversial alternative to apps such as Twitter and Facebook and touts itself as a “free speech” and “uncancelable” space. It was forced offline last year for its ties to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The move comes a week after the rapper was locked out of his Twitter account and restricted on Instagram amid a backlash over antisemitic posts.
Parlement Technologies, the parent company of Parler, announced “it has entered into an agreement in principle to sell Parler” to Ye, who has been “taking a bold stance against his recent censorship from Big Tech."
Ye’s Twitter, Instagram accounts locked after antisemitic postsOct. 10, 202200:27
“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 announcing the plans.
Under the terms of the initial agreement, the parties will enter into a definite purchase agreement and expect to close on the deal by the end of the year, the company said in a statement.
"The terms of the proposed transaction would include ongoing technical support from Parlement and the use of private cloud services via Parlement’s private cloud and data center infrastructure," the statement said.
Parlement Technologies CEO George Farmer said: “This deal will change the world, and change the way the world thinks about free speech."
“Ye is making a groundbreaking move into the free speech media space and will never have to fear being removed from social media again. Once again, Ye proves that he is one step ahead of the legacy media narrative," he said. "Parlement will be honored to help him achieve his goals.”
Ye, who has been vocal about his struggles with mental health and has a history of posting erratically online, was restricted on Instagram and Twitter earlier this month after making comments about Jewish people.
The rapper, who had been sharing a flurry of posts on Instagram, uploaded a screenshot Oct. 10 of an alleged text exchange he said he had with the rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs, with the caption “Jesus is Jew.” That post has since been deleted.
The message appeared to show Ye saying that Combs was controlled by Jewish people, a reference to an antisemitic conspiracy theory.
In one antisemitic post on Twitter, Ye said he would soon go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE,” according to internet archive records, making an apparent reference to the U.S. defense readiness condition scale known as DEFCON.
On Twitter, he also appeared to complain about being taken off Instagram, posting a picture of him seemingly singing karaoke alongside Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Meta Platforms, which owns Instagram.
Recently, Ye has used Instagram to attack Kim Kardashian, who filed for divorce in 2021, and other business partners.
His social media antics weren't his only points of controversy.
Ye also came under fire after sporting a T-shirt that said “White Lives Matter,” in an apparent mockery of the Black Lives Matter movement, at a fashion show earlier this month.
“White Lives Matter” is a “white supremacist phrase” that’s popular with the Aryan Renaissance Society, the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups, according to the Anti-Defamation League.