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Parler confirms Kanye West deal is off as rapper says “I see good things about Hitler”

By | Published on Friday 2 December 2022

Kanye West

Kanye West is no longer buying Parler. The company that operates the often controversial social media platform confirmed that the deal is off last night.

That company, Parlement Technologies, previously announced in October that it had agreed a deal that would see West take ownership of the platform. That announcement came as the rapper found himself locked out of other social media services after making a flurry of increasingly controversial statements.

Originally founded in 2018, Parler promotes itself as the “premiere global free speech platform”, though critics see it more as the place online where people can share outrageous, usually right-wing opinions without the risk of being filtered or banned.

Confirming the October deal to buy Parler, West said at the time: “In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves”.

However, it seems the big deal was off the table within a month. In a tweet yesterday Parlement Technologies said it “would like to confirm that the company has mutually agreed with Ye to terminate the intent of sale of Parler. This decision was made in the interest of both parties in mid-November”.

Ten days after the Parler/West deal was announced, Elon Musk completed his acquisition of Twitter and immediately started relaxing that platform’s content moderation rules. Given that ultimately allowed West and his controversial statements to return to the Twitter platform, there was plenty of speculation that the rapper’s interest in Parler would quickly wane.

That said, Parlement Technologies’ interest in West may also have waned. After all, the rapper has only continued to ramp up his controversial and increasingly dangerous racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric in recent weeks.

As a result, his brand has arguably become sufficiently tarnished that its problematic even for a service like Parler, which is all about courting controversy and the expression of more extreme right-wing opinions.

The statement from Parlement Technologies came on the day West appeared on far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’s ‘Infowars’ show and declared: “I see good things about Hitler … Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler”.

And shortly after that he was suspended from Twitter again, this time at Musk’s intervention. The new suspension followed the posting by West of an image showing a swastika over the star of David, ie the symbol of Nazism over the symbol of Judaism. Musk wrote: “I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended”.

Even Jones felt the need to push back against West’s remarks on his ‘Infowars’ programme, while Donald Trump has been busy this week trying to distance himself from the rapper, following that recent dinner at the former President’s Mar-a-Lago resort where West was accompanied by white supremacist Nick Fuentes.

It’s both hard to see and concerning to think about where West goes next with all this. In the ideal world into obscurity, though while his remarks continue to capture the headlines – including here – that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon.