Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, said he was motivated to acquire the conservative social media service Parler by his belief that existing platforms like Instagram and Twitter are too restrictive when it comes to user speech.
“When I got kicked off of Instagram and Twitter at the time, I knew it was time to acquire my own platform,” Ye said in an interview on Monday. “People had talked about it and mentioned this idea for years, but enough was enough.”
The rapper and designer was recently restricted from posting on some major social media platforms for violating their content policies. Twitter removed an anti-Semitic post from Ye last week and locked his account just a day after he had returned to the platform for the first time in nearly two years. Meta Platforms’ Instagram also deleted posts over anti-Semitic language.
Ye said Parler is for people like him, who have been penalised by much bigger platforms.
“We’re using this as a net for the people who have been bullied by the thought police to come and speak their mind,” he said. “Express how you feel. Express what’s tied up inside of you. Express what’s been haunting you. I use social media as my therapist.”
Billionaire Elon Musk, who has an agreement to buy Twitter for US$44-billion, says he spoke with Ye last week after Twitter froze his account. Ye said Musk didn’t advise him on buying Parler in that conversation, and he came to the decision on his own.
Ye said he is planning to have dinner with former US President Donald Trump this week, and will invite him onto Parler. Ye said he’ll join Trump’s own alternative network, Truth Social, too. — Kurt Wagner and Kim Bhasin, (c) 2022 Bloomberg LP