Digital media conglomerate Starboard acquires free-speech social app Parler; to roll out a revamped version
Digital media conglomerate Starboard announced on Friday it has acquired the free-speech social app Parler for an undisclosed amount. The firm also said that it will temporarily shut down the social media app popular among conservatives in the United States to allow the company to introduce a renewed version of the platform.
The news comes just months after the failed bid by Billionaire rapper and fashion designer Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, to acquire the platform’s parent company Parlement Technologies. As we reported back in October, Kanye said he had agreed to buy Parler but the deal fell apart.
Starboard, formerly known as Olympic Media, was founded in 2018 and is responsible for conservative-oriented platforms such as American Wire and BizPac Review. Its objective is to cater to “unsupported online communities” and provide them with a platform that is “free from the arbitrary regulations of platforms that hold a grudge against them.”
The Arlington, Virginia-based company said that the purchase will result in a profit by the conclusion of the second quarter of 2023.
Parler is one of several social media platform alternatives to Twitter prior to the $44 billion acquisition by Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Others include Gettr, Gab, and Truth Social, a social platform founded by Former US President Trump.
However, with Musk at the helm of Twitter, Starboard cautioned saying: “No reasonable person believes that a Twitter clone just for conservatives is a viable business anymore.”
We covered Parley backer in September after the startup acquired private cloud infrastructure tech startup Dynscale to expand its service footprint and become a key infrastructure player within the US market. The acquisition followed Parler’s $16M Series B funding.
Parler was launched in 2018 as a social-media site, styling itself as a free-speech space for those seeking an alternative to major platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The app quickly gained traction from conservatives and supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump.
Based in Henderson, Nevada, Parler claimed to be the solution to problems that have surfaced in recent years due to changes in Big Tech policy influenced by various special-interest groups. Parler is built upon a foundation of respect for privacy and personal data, free speech, free markets, and ethical, transparent corporate policy.
Unlike Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms owned by Big Tech, Parler describes its platform as an unbiased, free-speech social media platform focused on protecting users’ rights. In accordance with its free speech policy, Parler adopts a laissez-faire approach to offensive speech, citing the FCC’s definition of obscenity to define the threshold for acceptable conduct.