Free speech-friendly platform Parler has been shut down by its new owner Starboard Media, pending a reassessment.
In a press release announcing the decision, Starboard Media praised Parler’s CEO for leading the company to new markets, including cloud services. The company said that, although it was shutting down Parler, it would continue to serve censored communities.
“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. The team at Parler has built an exceptional audience and we look forward to integrating that audience across all of our existing platforms,” said Starboard’s CEO Ryan Coyne.
The press release stated: “No reasonable person believes that a Twitter clone just for conservatives is a viable business anymore.”
It added: “While the Parler app as it is currently constituted will be pulled down from operation to undergo a strategic assessment, we at Starboard see tremendous opportunities across multiple sectors to continue to serve marginalized or even outright censored communities – even extending beyond domestic politics.
“Advancements in AI technology, along with the existing code base and other new features, provide an opportunity for Starboard to begin servicing unsupported online communities – building a home for them away from the ad-hoc regulatory hand of platforms that hate them.”
The Parler app emerged as an alternative social media platform to Twitter and Facebook, aiming to provide a space for uncensored speech and discourse.
Launched in August 2018 by John Matze and Jared Thomson, Parler attracted millions of users in a short period of time. However, it faced significant censorship and backlash from both public and private entities for its support of free speech.