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What is Parler that rapper Ye is buying?

Rapper Ye, more known under his previous name Kayne West, is buying social media Parler. His deal with Parler’s mother company was published after Ye had his accounts at Twitter and Instagram restricted because he used them for antisemitic comments. Parler is known for saying it is opposing restrictions of free speech indicating that other sites’ moderations and rules against hate and violence restrict free speech. 

A recent Pew Research Center report comprised information about Parler and six other alternative social media sites (BitChute, Gab, Gettr, Rumble, Telegram and Truth Social) that have news consumers. 

Data from Pew Research about Parler:

  • 38% of U.S. adults say they have heard of Parler.
  • Only 1% of Americans say they regularly get news on Parler. Overall, just 6% of Americans regularly get news from at least one of the seven sites studied, and no single site is used for news by more than 2% of U.S. adults.
  • In its “about” section and terms of service, Parler explicitly identifies itself as supporting free speech. Parler also describes itself as an alternative to Big Tech and says it is opposed to censorship.
  • A review of the site’s moderation features found that Parler moderates user content at least to some extent (beyond spam and legal requirements). Parler’s app was removed from the Google and Apple app stores after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol because organizers reportedly used the app to help plan the event. The app was returned to each store only after adding moderation features requested by Google and Apple.
  • Among regular news consumers on Parler, 69% say they expect the news and information there to be mostly accurate, while 30% expect it to be mostly inaccurate.
  • Among those who regularly get news on Parler, 66% say news on Parler helped them better understand current events, while 12% say news there made them more confused about current events. The remainder say the news there doesn’t make much of a difference.
  • About half (52%) of those who regularly get news on Parler say they are very or somewhat satisfied with the experience of getting news there, while 27% are very or somewhat dissatisfied and the rest give a neutral assessment.
  • Among those who regularly get news on Parler, 61% say discussions they see on the site are mostly friendly, while 16% say they see mostly unfriendly discussions and 20% say they see about an equal mix of friendly and unfriendly discussions.
  • Among those who regularly get news on Parler, 55% say they interact with news posts at least sometimes, and 38% say they post about news themselves at least sometimes on the site.
  • In a review of a sample of the 200 most prominent accounts on Parler (selected from those with the highest number of followers), 86% of prominent accounts are individuals and 9% are organizations.
  • When it comes to what values or other appeals these 200 prominent accounts have in their profiles, 68% have a reference to some kind of value or political orientation or identity appeal. A little under half (44%) have a reference to being right-leaning or pro-Trump, 23% have a reference to patriotism or a pro-America message, and 19% express a religious identity.
  • What do people on Parler talk about? A review of posts from these 200 prominent accounts from June 2022 found that 64% of accounts posted about guns and gun rights, 54% posted about the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, 54% posted about abortion, 46% posted about LGBTQ issues and 38% posted about vaccines.
  • About one-in-ten prominent accounts on Parler (12%) had their account on another social media site banned or demonetized (i.e., their access to revenue-sharing partnerships like advertising was revoked). This is lower than the share on BitChute (35%) and Rumble (22%) but comparable to the share on Gettr (13%), Gab and Telegram (12% each).
  • In terms of user privacy, Parler allows users to control who accesses their posts and the comments on their posts, and it gives users the ability to modify privacy settings. Parler also says it won’t sell user data and doesn’t have targeted third-party ads.
  • Parler has several revenue streams. The platform is exploring crypto as a revenue source through a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace it hosts called DeepRedSky, which features NFTs from Parler itself, as well as partners like The Babylon Bee. Parler also generates revenue through merchandise.

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