The owner of Parler, the anti-censorship alternative to Twitter, has laid off around 75% of staff according to a report. An operation that began after the cancellation of the acquisition of Kanye West

Parliament Technologies, the parent company of the uncensored social media platform Parler, has laid off most of its staff and most of its chief executives in recent weeks according to a report by The Verge. The sudden purge of staff has called into question the future of Parler, one of the first conservative alternatives to mainstream platforms.

Parliament Technologies began laying off workers at the end of November, according to several sources familiar with the matter. These layoffs continued through at least the end of December, when about 75% of employees were laid off overall, leaving about 20 employees working on Parler and the cloud business services of the parent company. Most of the company’s executives, including its heads of technology, operations and marketing, have also been made redundant, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Speak describes itself as politically independent, but the loosely moderated site has become popular with conservative users who may have been banned from mainstream sites or disagree with the review and moderation policies. platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Parler is one of many right-wing social media platforms that have emerged in the Donald Trump era. Parler’s emphasis on free speech has made it a magnet for conspiracy theorists. The platform was accused of helping riot organizers plan and coordinate the storming of the Capitol that took place on January 6, 2021.

It should be said that Parler was founded in 2018 at the height of former President Donald Trump’s war on social media platforms due to their alleged discrimination against conservative users. The platform markets itself as a free speech alternative to more mainstream platforms like Facebook and Twitter, offering what it says are anti-censorship moderation policies.

The app grew in popularity throughout the 2020 presidential election cycle, registering over 7,000 new users per minute at its peak in November of that year. But after the January 6 deadly riot at the US Capitol, Apple and Google pulled the app from their app stores after criticizing its use to plan and coordinate the attack. These decisions prevented new users from downloading the application, thus stopping the growth of users.

Speak returned to the Apple store four months after his ban once he provided a list of revised moderation policies. But at the time, Trump’s own social media platform was rumored to be launching, and a handful of rival apps, like Gettr and Rumble, entered the social media market uncensored.

Parler’s user growth remained strong as competitors emerged.

For the record, in January 2021, Amazon refused to continue providing its cloud hosting services to the site after the tech giant determined that Parler was not doing enough to moderate and eliminate incitement to violence. Parler was fired for his *unwillingness and inability to remove content from Amazon Web Services servers that threatened public safety, for example, inciting and planning the rape, torture and murder of officials and citizens *, says Amazon.

The app has also been removed from Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store, making it impossible for new users to download the app on smartphones.

Parler sought to reduce its dependence on other companies’ technologies by establishing its own in-house infrastructure. Using its history of going offline, the company announced in September that it was forming a new venture, Parliament Technologies, that would put its social platform and a new non-cancelled services business into the cloud. Parliament Technologies acquired cloud infrastructure by buying California-based Dynascale for $16 million in new financing. By launching its internet infrastructure division, Parlement Technologies underlines its commitment to support freedom of expression from its perspective.

A David before the Goliaths of Twitter and Facebook

Talking rose to prominence after the 2020 US presidential election, when conservative politicians and media stars began championing Talking as an alternative to Facebook and Twitter and their respective content moderation policies. of those platforms. As of November 9, 2020, Parler had more than 5 million active users, an eight-fold increase from the previous week, according to a statement at the time from John Matze, its CEO at the time.

But some of those accounts have gone dormant. After Parler’s recent sale announcement, the company emailed hundreds of VIPs, some of whom later told the media that they had no connection to the site.

Parler had about 1.3 million site visits in the month of August, according to website analytics tracker Similarweb. That compares to 6.8 billion visits to Twitter’s site in August and 18.2 billion to Facebook.

Even other alternative apps like Gettr from Gettr Usa Inc. and Truth Social from Trump Media & Technology Group Corp. (founded by former President Donald Trump) has surpassed Parler by significant margins in terms of site visits. In August, Truth Social recorded 9 million site visits and Gettr recorded 7.2 million, according to Similarweb.

In addition, following the acquisition of DynaScale, Parliament Technologies attempted to sell Parler to a willing buyer. A potential buyer said the platform only had about 50,000 daily active users as of October 2022.

Platforms that are more specialized are probably harder to build, says Eric Dahan, CEO and co-founder of Open Influence, an influencer marketing company that works with content creators: I don’t see it that way. there’s really mass adoption, but I see it as having a very active niche audience,” he said. It’s really hard to launch a social platform. And it’s even harder to sustain something new, because these existing platforms have so much resistance. So there must be something inherently unique about the feature set. [de Parler] .

In addition to content, monetized social media platforms typically rely on advertising. Parler’s ad base is likely similar to that of advertisers who fill the airwaves of right-wing radio or TV shows, said Will Duffield, speech and internet governance analyst at the Cato Institute, a free speech think tank. in Washington, DC

Many companies that serve the right may feel discriminated against on Twitter, Duffield said. And so you don’t need more than that – gun add-ons and ads… I think there’s a lot of room for ad-supported niche platforms.

In late October, website analytics tracker Similarweb estimated that Parler generates between $2 million and $5 million a year through its advertising, merchandise sales, and non-fungible tokens marketplace.

The increasingly difficult online advertising market is also affecting major social media platforms like Twitter and Snapchat, which have increased the number of daily active users but still struggle to monetize their core features.

A Kanye West takeover that won’t last long

Kanye West, the musician now known as Ye, began hiring Parler on October 17. The acquisition was announced by Parler in a press release, stating that the platform has reached a tentative agreement with Ye that is expected to be finalized over time. of 2021. In a world where conservative views are treated like controversies, we need to make sure we have the right to express ourselves freely,” Ye said in the press release.

In a press release, George Farmer, CEO of Parliament Technologies, said the operation “will change the world, and change the way the world thinks about freedom of expression.” He added: You’re taking a revolutionary step forward in the free speech media space and don’t have to worry about being kicked off social media again. Once again, Ye proves that he is one step ahead of the mainstream media. Parliament would be honored to help him achieve his goals.

But Kanye West’s deal to buy social network Parler only lasted a month

Parler’s owner announced the end of the deal shortly after Kanye West said he sees good things in Hitler during an appearance on Alex Jones’ Infowars show. Kanye West was also suspended from Twitter shortly after posting a photo of a scaly cross inside the Star of David.

In a statement emailed to several news organizations, Parliament Technologies said it had mutually agreed with Ye to end Parler’s intention to sell. This decision was taken in the interest of both parties in mid-November. Parler will continue to pursue future growth opportunities and the evolution of the platform for our vibrant community.

Parler and Ye announced a merger agreement on October 17. The deal was struck after Ye made anti-Semitic posts that locked his Twitter account, putting it in read-only mode while leaving it visible to public. Ye’s Twitter account was unblocked at the end of October, when Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter was finalized. Musk publicly supported Ye, but said the unblocking of the account occurred before the acquisition and that Twitter did not consult or inform me.

It’s unclear how many people are currently employed to work on Parler’s social media platform or where it’s headed. At press time, the company had just one job left on its website*: managing its data center facilities in Los Angeles.

And you?

What do you think of Talk?

Is today’s social network an empty shell that will surely disappear? Until where?

What do you think of the strategy to move away from dependence on big tech companies by buying Dynascale for millions despite an animate growth in some users?

See also:

Parler said he came back without ‘Big Tech’ after being fired from Amazon Web Services, and spent more than a month on the service.

The Parler account of John Matze, its co-founder and former CEO, has reportedly been blocked, after he asked his followers to follow him on the Telegram messaging app

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