The Big Tech alternative social media platform Parler, which saw roaring success among American conservatives in 2020 before it’s downward spiral a year later, has been temporarily taken down by its new owners who seek to make some changes that are leaving many current and former users confused.
Parler users on Friday were left bewildered when logging into their accounts after they were met with a press release from the new owners Starboard, a digital media conglomerate. Starboard marks the third era of ownership for Parler in the past several years. In 2021, Parler failed to achieve it’s previous pace of growth and active users after the platform was yanked from popular app stores as well as the Amazon servers where it was hosted.
The platform was then acquired by British technology entrepreneur George Farmer, more popularly known as the husband of conservative commentator Candace Owens.
In 2022, Parler was in discussions with mogul and rapper Kanye West, who was interested purchasing it after he was banned from Twitter and Instagram. That negotiation didn’t go through, but that obviously didn’t stop them from discussing the opportunity to sell with other interested parties.
Now, with Starboard in charge of the whole show, they plan on making Parler from a conservative-centric “Twitter clone” into something different.
“No reasonable person believes that a Twitter clone just for conservatives is a viable business any more,” said Starboard in their press release.
Starboard CEO Ryan Coyne stated in the release that Parler had “built an exceptional audience and we look forward to integrating that audience across all of our existing platforms.”
ICYMI: Parler is No More – Social Media Company Sold to Starboard and Shut Down https://t.co/gwGi5OEhbD
— Matt Couch (@RealMattCouch) April 16, 2023
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Feeling Shut Out
Following the news that Parler was under new ownership, many who relied on the platform to communicate with their audiences (specifically conservatives who had been either shadow banned or outright censored by Big Tech platforms such as Twitter and Facebook in the past) were obviously frustrated that until further notice, they would have no access to the platform during Starboard’s “strategic assessment.”
Chris Salcedo, Newsmax contributor and host of the Chris Salcedo Show, posted a statement to Truth Social on Friday voicing his frustration with the news.
“Without warning, Parler turned off the Chris Salcedo Show account today,” his post read. “Apparently, Parler is under new ownership. A statement posted, where Parler-dot-com used to be, reads in part, ‘No reasonable person believes that a Twitter clone just for conservatives is a viable business anymore.’ This told the Chris Salcedo Show all we need to know. The idea that alternatives to communist Twitter 1.0 came into being to create a safe space for conservatives, is a fundamental misunderstanding of how and why Parler, Truth Social, GETTR and other alternatives came into being.
“It has always been about FREE, UN-CENSORED SPEECH!” Salcedo continued. “It seems the new owners of Parler, like Democrats, have very little regard for those they allegedly serve or partner with. I have sent an email to the new management of Parler. If we do not hear from them by Monday, we will abandon Parler, as they have abandoned us.”
As of this writing, Parler has not issued a response to Salcedo’s remarks.
Rob Carson, another Newsmax contributor, also voiced his anger at the news.
“Parler is dead,” he tweeted. “The new tactic for the left: buy conservative outlets and shut them down. Good luck with that d*ck heads.”
Parler is dead. The new tactic for the left: buy conservative outlets and shut them down. Good luck with that d*ck heads. https://t.co/KGYukT1GLd
— Rob Carson (@RobCarson) April 15, 2023
“Parler has officially shut down,” tweeted conservative journalist and former congressional candidate Laura Loomer, who heavily relied on Parler for years until she was reinstated from her previous ban on Twitter since businessman Elon Musk’s purchase of the platform. “Goodbye to my nearly 900,000 Parler followers I suppose…”
Parler has officially shut down.
Goodbye to my nearly 900,000 Parler followers I suppose… pic.twitter.com/aG3nqmkHUx
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) April 15, 2023
Well, What Now?
The Political Insider reached out to Starboard for comment regarding some of the questions arising from the announcement.
When asked what users could specifically expect from Parler when it returns, a representative from Starboard replied:
“From a technology perspective Parler was built to provide individuals with the opportunity to speak freely. That mission and the use case of the technology will remain intact moving forward. Advancements in AI technology, along with the existing code base and other new features, provide an opportunity for Starboard to begin servicing unsupported online communities — building a home for them away from the ad-hoc regulatory hand of platforms that hate them.”
Starboard has not yet responded to statements regarding the disappointment of conservative figures such as Salcedo and others.
What are your thoughts on this next evolution of Parler? Let us know in the comments below and across social media.
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