Who owns Parler? Donald Trump supporters and conservatives urge followers to join platform 'for real free speech'

Parler was launched in August 2018 and regarded as an alternative to Twitter


                            Who owns Parler? Donald Trump supporters and conservatives urge followers to join platform 'for real free speech'
John Matze, co-founder, Parler (Washington Jornal/C-Span)

It has been quite an eventful few days for the United States. After the suspense and anticipation about the election results, America finally got its president-elect and vice-president-elect in Joe Biden and Kamala Harris respectively. President Donald Trump hasn’t conceded yet and his team has announced lawsuits challenging the decision.

But amidst all this political news, some Twitter users seem to busy discussing Parler. For the uninitiated, Parler was launched in August 2018 and regarded as an alternative to Twitter. Users post “Parleys” (similar to tweets) that can be commented on, “echoed” (like retweets), and voted on (similar to Twitter's like feature). The social media network is available on the web as well as the App Store for iOS users and the Play Store for Android users. The platform presented itself as a place where no one would be banned, have their content taken down, or even experience brief suspension for posting questionable content. Parler soon gained prominence with Trump supporters and started hosting Twitter-banned icons of the alt-right.

Conservative radio show host Mark Levin in two consecutive tweets urged his followers to join Parler. He said, “1. Hurry and follow me at Parler.  I’m trying to encourage as many of you as possible to immediately join me there as I may not stay at Facebook or Twitter if they continue censoring me. And one day I’ll have left their platforms.” He added, “2. Parler is a wonderful alternative and is growing, and we need you there ASAP.  It believes in truly open speech.  Thank you!”



 



 

The chatter around Parler grew and there were other reactions as well. Fox News host Pete Hegseth tweeted, “Might see you on Twitter now & then, but moving to @parler_app — for real FREE SPEACH. LEFTIST @Twitter is, as the President says, the real enemy of the people.” A user replying to the host said, “We moved over there yesterday.  Hopefully, they’ll expand their network because it’s been overloaded all afternoon!” Another said, “Totally agree. Parler better get ready for our President. 85 million more accounts.” One user wrote: “Time to leave Twitter. Nothing happening here that's interesting and serious voices are being silenced. I'm moving to #Parler and I hope others will follow.” Another commented, “Mark, we need to convince the President to switch to Parler. When he goes, millions of us are going with him.” One stated, “PARLER is the new platform for free speech... #MAGA” Another said, “Leave the censor cesspool. Parler for the win!”



 



 



 



 



 



 



 

Who owns Parler?

It was founded in 2018 by two men based in Henderson, Nevada—John Matze and Jared Thomson. A Newsweek article states Matze and Thomson said they created the platform after becoming “exhausted with a lack of transparency in big tech [and] ideological suppression.” The article states that the platform’s users include Eric Trump, Laura Loomer and Rudy Giuliani. Even California Representative  Devin Nunes is also a user of Parler, having tweeted: "Everyone should join Parler! They don’t change content or feed you leftist propaganda."



 

Matze is the CEO of the company. According to a Forbes report in June 2020, there were about 1.7 million users, almost double the number of people on the app in April. The report quotes him as saying, “There are going to be no fact-checkers. You're not going to be told what to think and what to say. A police officer isn't going to arrest you if you say the wrong opinion. I think that's all people want. That's what they like.” In the Forbes interview, Matze describes himself as an arguer. “I don't have too many friends, but the ones I do have, we just talk amongst ourselves about ideas—crazy ones, easy ones, whatever.”

Conservative commentator Dan Bongino announced a partnership with Parler in June 2020, taking an ownership stake in the company. He said, "I’ve decided it’s time to fight back against the Tech Tyrants. I’m beyond fed up with the censorship and bias of Twitter and Facebook and I’m not going to stand back and watch as they target us. As a result, I’ve taken an ownership stake in Parler, the hottest social media alternative in the market right now."

In the 2020 US election, Twitter and Facebook were accused of censorship by many. Matze told Fox Business’ ‘Mornings with Maria’, "Once you start content curation and you start fact-checking, you're introducing bias and I don't think that there's any perfect group without bias, so in terms of being a platform for transparency and free speech, they've gone way too far. And in this election, we need more transparency and it's really important.”

These remarks were made by the internet and individual organizations, MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support any claims being made on the internet
 

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