(RightWing.org) – Since 2018, Conservatives who wanted a social media platform without Twitter’s extreme left-wing bias have had another option — Parler. With less oppressive content moderation policies, the app was a place where any political views could be freely expressed. Now it’s closed down.
Parler has been shut down pending a strategic reassessment from its new owners, Starboard Media, although the company says it will continue to serve censored communities in the future. https://t.co/epmauHzhP0
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 15, 2023
On April 14, Starboard announced it was the new owner of Parler and that the platform would be “pulled down from operation” while its future was reassessed. In fact, it doesn’t appear to have a future. Instead, its users will be encouraged to move to other platforms.
Parler was launched in August 2018, and it’s had a rocky ride since then. Although it managed to collect over 20 million users in its first three years, only about a million of those were actually active. In the meantime, it’s had to cope with harassment and obstruction from liberal tech companies. In 2020, Amazon Web Services took Parler off its servers, forcing a temporary shutdown until it could find a new hosting service.
A press release from Parler, obviously approved by the new owners, said, “No reasonable person believes a Twitter clone just for conservatives is a viable business any more.” That isn’t a shocking statement. The reason platforms like Parler appeared in the first place was that Twitter’s notorious moderators regularly silenced conservative opinions, but since Elon Musk bought it last year, things have changed. Twitter is now much less heavily censored, and Conservatives are back on the platform — so why go to a much smaller platform with a smaller audience?
Starboard now says it sees “tremendous opportunities” for “integrating” Parler users across the other platforms it owns — but none of those platforms are anything like Parler. Will Starboard be able to cannibalize the site it’s just bought, or will users simply go back to Twitter? Either way, it seems unlikely Parler will ever return in its current form.
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