Parler under Kanye: CEO talks about total freedom of speech, what’s in and what’s out

Parlement Technologies CEO George Farmer reiterated during an appearance Tuesday on Fox Business that first and foremost, the social media platform is about respecting free speech.

With host Stuart Varney opting to focus on Kanye West and recent remarks from the rapper that some are interpreting as antisemitic — the rapper has a different take — Farmer remained focused on the bigger picture in today’s culture where censorship is woven into the fabric of the major social media companies.

On Monday, Parler announced that West had agreed to acquire the conservative-oriented social media app, the move coming after the rapper was locked out of his Twitter account and restricted on Instagram.

“In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves,” West, who now goes by Ye, said in a statement.

Varney asked Farmer, who is married to conservative personality Candace Owens, if Parler will allow “total free speech.”

“I want to take it back to a higher level here, which is at what point do we censor speech?” Farmer said. “Parler has always maintained its community guidelines, which have been very clear. We do not allow pornography, we don’t allow for financial doxxing, we don’t allow for intellectual property theft, but as soon as you start drawing distinctions as to what is and isn’t hate speech, you sit yourself in a seat of power as to what can be put online and what can’t be put online, and that’s where we’ve ended up with the problem with existing social media now, which does overtly censor speech.”

“Once you start deciding where that scale is going to be set, you’re in a world of trouble,” he added.

While Varney seemed determined to advance a media narrative that’s unfavorable to Ye, Farmer was having none of it.

“We all want free speech, but do we all want antisemitism writ large on Parler?” the Fox Business host asked.

“I don’t think Ye has given any indication that that’s the case,” Farmer said. “I mean, he obviously wants a platform for his voice. This is what he’s now got.”

Varney remained fixated on the negative, but Farmer repeated his earlier comment about Parler maintaining its community guidelines “which have allowed us to operate freely within the confines of the law.”

“Obviously, at the end of the day, when the deal is complete and he has control of the platform he will be able to make those decisions for himself — he will ultimately be the controller,” the CEO said, adding that Parlement Technologies, the service provider behind Parler, “will not be involved in the day-to-day decisions like that.”

Keep in mind, Parler was booted by Amazon, Google and Apple last year over a dubious claim that the app allowed violent content — Parler called it “a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the marketplace.”

Either way, Big Tech will be champing at the bit to shut it down again when Ye is at the helm.

Farmer highly praised the deal with the rapper, who is worth an estimated $2 billion, saying on Monday that it “will change the world.”

“This deal will change the world, and change the way the world thinks about free speech,” he said.

“Ye is making a groundbreaking move into the free speech media space and will never have to fear being removed from social media again. Once again, Ye proves that he is one step ahead of the legacy media narrative,” Farmer continued. “Parlement will be honored to help him achieve his goals.”


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Tom Tillison


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