Starboard has purchased Parler, the conservative Twitter alternative, and has taken it down for a “strategic evaluation.”
Users who tried to access the platform on 14 April 2023 were met with a release from the new owners, announcing that Starboard (formerly Olympic Media), an organization of media which owns BizPacReview.com, and American Wire, had acquired the platform.
The statement of the company immediately took a strong position on the spirit and purpose of the platform. It said, “No reasonable individual believes that a Twitter-clone for conservatives can be a viable business.”
The company has praised the now-former CEO George Farmer’s focus on cloud storage, IT infrastructure, and other new features. It says that new owners will “begin serving unsupported online communities” using “advancements of AI technology.”
Ryan Coyne is the CEO of Starboard. He said, “The team has created an extraordinary audience. We look forward to integrating this audience across all our existing platforms.”
Farmer reiterated that cloud services and digital safety will be the future of the asset.
He added that “the Parler asset is still one of the most well-known brands in alternative social media, but we are no longer focusing on this area because our growth and acquisition plans continue to accelerate in the Managed Cloud Security and Cloud space.”
Free speech has been a difficult road to get here, with the platform being deplatformed in January 2021 by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Apple Store. The web hosts alleged that the company did not moderate content that was deemed dangerous.
Parler gained tremendous momentum as Facebook and Twitter users grew restless about content moderation, and the allegations of shadow banning on these platforms.
The deal did not go through. In October 2022 it was reported that Kanye west was interested in buying the platform. He had been banned from several social media sites.