The owner of anti-censorship Twitter alternative Parler has reportedly laid off nearly 75% of its staff. The operation, which began after the cancellation of the takeover by Kanye West

Parliament Technologies, the parent company of censorship-free social media platform Parler, has laid off most of its employees and most of its CEOs in recent weeks, according to a report by The Verge. The sudden purge casts doubt on the future of Parler, one of the first conservative alternatives to mainstream platforms.

Parliament Technologies began laying off employees in late November, according to several sources familiar with the matter. Those layoffs continued through at least the end of December, with about 75% of employees being cut overall, with about 20 employees working both at Parler and in the parent company’s cloud services business. Most of the company’s executives, including the heads of technology, operations and marketing, have also been fired, according to a source familiar with the matter.

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

It should be noted that Parler was created in 2018 at the height of former President Donald Trump’s war on social media platforms over allegations of discrimination against conservative users. The platform pitched itself as a free-speech alternative to more mainstream platforms like Facebook and Twitter, offering what it described as a moderation policy against censorship.

The app gained popularity during the 2020 presidential election cycle, registering more than 7,000 new users per minute at its peak in November of that year. But after the deadly riot at the US Capitol on January 6, Apple and Google pulled the app from their app stores after criticism that it was used to plan and coordinate an attack. These decisions prevented new users from downloading the app and thus stunted user growth.

Speak has returned to the Apple store four months after its ban after submitting a list of updated moderation policies. But by then, Trump’s own social media platform was rumored to be launching, and several competing apps like Gettr and Rumble had entered the social media market uncensored.

Parler’s user growth remained strong as competitors emerged.

Notably, in January 2021, Amazon refused to provide cloud hosting services to the site after the tech giant determined that Parler was not doing enough to reduce and eliminate incitement to violence. Parler was fired for his unwillingness and incompetence to remove content from Amazon Web Services servers that threatened public safety, such as inciting and planning* rape, torture, and the killing of officials and citizens.

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 to their smartphones.

By creating its own internal infrastructure, Parler tried to reduce its dependence on other companies’ technologies. Taking advantage of its history of going offline, the company announced last September that it was creating a new entity called Parliament Technologies, which will house its social platform and new non-cancellable cloud services business. Parliament Technologies acquired cloud infrastructure provider Dynascale in California for $16 million in new financing. By launching its Internet infrastructure division, Parlement Technologies has emphasized its commitment to support freedom of expression from its perspective.

A David against the Goliaths of Twitter and Facebook

Talk became popular after the 2020 US presidential election, when conservative politicians and media stars began advocating Talk as an alternative to Facebook and Twitter and those platforms’ respective content moderation policies. 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 from then-CEO John Matzen.

However, some of those accounts have since become inactive. After Parler’s latest sale announcement, the company emailed hundreds of VIPs, some of whom later told the media they had little to do with the site.

Parler had nearly 1.3 million site visits in August, according to website analytics tracker Similarweb. This compares to Twitter’s 6.8 billion site visits and Facebook’s 18.2 billion site visits in August.

Other alternative apps include Gettr from Gettr Usa Inc. and Truth Social from Trump Media & Technology Group Corp. (founded by former President Donald Trump) outperformed Parler in terms of site visits by significant margins. According to Similarweb, Truth Social had 9 million site visits in August, while Gettr had 7.2 million.

Additionally, following the acquisition of DynaScale, Parliament Technologies attempted to sell Parler to a willing buyer. The potential buyer said the platform had around 50,000 daily active users by October 2022 alone.

Eric Dahan, CEO and co-founder of Open Influence, an influencer marketing company that works with content creators, said that more specialized platforms are more difficult to develop: I don’t see it being adopted. massive, but I see. it has a very active niche audience,” he said. Starting a social platform is really difficult. And it’s harder to maintain a new one because these existing platforms are so resistant. So there must be something unique about the feature set. [de Parler] .

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

Duffield said many companies serve rights on Twitter that may feel discriminatory. And so you don’t need much more than that – weapon add-ons and ads… I think there’s a lot of room for niche ad-supported platforms.

As of late October, website analytics tracker Similarweb estimated that Parler was generating between $2 million and $5 million a year through advertising, product sales and a dormant token market.

The increasingly difficult online advertising market is also affecting major social media platforms like Twitter and Snapchat, which are growing in daily active users but are still struggling to monetize their core features.

It won’t take long to be bought by Kanye West

Musician Kanye West, now known as Ye, initiated the purchase of Parler on October 17. It was announced in a press release by Alma Parler that the platform has reached a preliminary agreement with Ye, which is expected to be finalized in 2021. In a world where conservative views are considered controversial, we must make sure that we have the right to express ourselves freely,” Ye said in a press release.

George Farmer, CEO of Parliamentary Technologies, said in a press release that the transaction “will change the world and change the way the world thinks about freedom of expression.” He added: You are taking a revolutionary step forward in the free speech media space and will never have to worry about being deleted from social media again. Ye proves once again that he is one step ahead of the mainstream media. Parliament would be honored to help him achieve his goals.

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

The parlor owner announced the end of the contract shortly after Kanye West, after Alex Jones said during an appearance on the Infowars show that he saw good things in Hitler. Kanye West was also banned from Twitter shortly after posting a picture of a stipend cross with a Star of David on it.

In a statement emailed to several news organizations, Parliament Technologies said it had reached a mutual agreement with Ye to end its intention to sell Parler. This decision was made in mid-November in accordance with the interests of both parties. Parler will continue to monitor future development opportunities and the evolution of the platform for our vibrant community.

Parler and Ye announced the merger agreement on October 17. The deal came after Ye’s Twitter account was locked down and made public after he posted anti-Semitic posts, setting it to read-only mode. Ye’s Twitter account was blocked in late October when Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter was finalized. Musk publicly supported Ye, but said the unblocking of the account happened before the acquisition and that Twitter did not consult or inform me.

It’s unclear how many people are currently employed by the social media platform Parler, or where it goes from here. As of press time, the company’s website* has only one job left: managing facilities in its Los Angeles data center.

And you?

What do you think about talc?
Is the social network now an empty shell doomed to disappear? To what extent?
What do you think about the strategy of moving away from relying on big tech companies by buying Dynascale by the millions even though it already has a small number of users growing rapidly?

See also:

Parler claims to be back without ‘Big Tech’ after being fired from Amazon Web Services and out of service for more than a month
Its co-founder and former CEO John Matze’s Parler account was reportedly blocked after he asked his followers to follow him on the Telegram messaging app.

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