October 17, 2022
An ostracised superstar has decided to buy an even more ostracised social media platform. What could go wrong?
The artist formerly known as Kanye West (pictured) who, in his dispensation with superfluous syllables now abbreviates his name to ‘Ye’, has decided to buy social media company Parler. Why should we care? Good question. If we should, it’s because two sources of considerable, but contentious, public attention seem set to join forces, the result of which has limitless potential.
Almost two years ago Parler inadvertently set a significant precedent when it was denied service by dominant public cloud platform AWS for violating its terms. Since AWS has apparently sole discretion to amend those terms as it sees fit, it has total, unaccountable power to decide who is served. Those who fall foul of its capricious whims can go ahead and find another public cloud provider, we’re told. But since the the market is dominated by an oligarchy of US tech giants, none of which seem to have been inclined to accommodate Parler, it has been left in internet purgatory.
More recently musician, fashionista, and all-round megastar Ye has been saying some highly contentious stuff which resulted in him being suspended from Instagram and Twitter. The interview below offers some insight into what currently motivates him.
Ye seems to feel he is being unfairly censored by mainstream social media, one response to which is to own his own social media platform, of which it turns out a ready-made one was available. “In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves,” said Ye, in a press release announcing his acquisition of Parler, which describes him as ‘the richest Black man in history’.
“This deal will change the world and change the way the world thinks about free speech,” said George Farmer, CEO of Parlement Technologies, which owns Parler. “Ye is making a ground-breaking 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. Parlement will be honoured to help him achieve his goals.”
Ye is not short of a bob or two but Parler probably didn’t cost much; AWS saw to that. What he plans to do with his new toy is anyone’s guess but the significance of this deal lies as much with its symbolism. Two significant sources of establishment antagonism are joining forces in a move that is as much a statement of defiance as anything. The increasingly suffocating orthodoxy being imposed on the digital public square now has another thing to worry about
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