Parler has been acquired. Parler has also just been shut down.
On Friday, the digital media company Starboard announced that it had acquired Parler, the conservative social media platform. According to Starboard, the deal went through on Good Friday and it bought Parler for an undisclosed amount.
Following Starboard’s announcement on Friday, the company immediately shut down Parler’s website. A note on Parler.com(Opens in a new tab) reads “no reasonable person believes that a Twitter clone just for conservatives is a viable business any more.”
To be clear though, this isn’t an anti-conservative statement from Starboard. It’s strictly business. Starboard’s statement goes on to praise former Parler CEO George Farmer for Parler’s more recent move into providing alternative IT and cloud services solutions through its former parent company Parlament Technologies.
“We focus on working with groups that are advocating for or otherwise advancing conservative causes or conservative beliefs,” Starboard CEO Ryan Coyne told the Daily Caller News Foundation in 2021, back when Starboard was known as Olympic Media.
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According to its social media platforms, Starboard offers digital marketing and ad agency services. In that same 2021 Daily Caller piece, the agency previously worked with current and former Republican Congress members like Jim Jordan, Elise Stefanik, and Madison Cawthorn and conservative organizations like Turning Point USA.
“Parler’s large user base and additional strategic assets represent an enormous opportunity for Starboard to continue to build aggressively in our media and publishing business,” Starboard CEO Ryan Coyne said in a statement. “The team at Parler has built an exceptional audience and we look forward to integrating that audience across all of our existing platforms.”
Starboard says it’s going to use its acquisition to assess how the company can “begin servicing unsupported online communities.”
Parler grew in popularity following the 2020 presidential election as right-wing users sought out a more-friendly outlet to discuss conspiracy theories and share their anger over former president Donald Trump’s electoral defeat. The platform gained notoriety in the lead-up and immediate aftermath of the events of January 6th, 2021. On-the-ground media posted on Parler by Trump supporters as they stormed the Capitol building quickly spread on the internet.
Due to the hateful rhetoric found on the website, Apple and Google removed Parler’s mobile app from the App Store and Google Play store. Although Apple and Google eventually allowed Parler back after the social media platform implemented new content moderation rules, Parler’s popularity among its user base waned. New conservative platforms like Trump’s Truth Social quickly took its place as the preferred social media alternative. After a potential acquisition by Kanye West fell through, Parler laid off(Opens in a new tab) most of its employees earlier this year.
Apparently, there were still some users faithful to Parler who were upset by Starboard’s decision to abruptly close the platform.
“You closed the site without previous notice. Unbelievable,” wrote one user in the replies to Starboard’s Instagram announcement of its Parler purchase, complete with clown emojis.
“Thanks for the advanced warning,” replied another.
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