Everything about the first paragraph in this Wall Street Journal piece is hysterically funny:
Parler says Kanye West has agreed to buy the libertarian-leaning social network popular with conservatives, the rapper’s latest foray into the debate around free speech.
Let’s start with the biggest laugh: Parler is not “popular” with anyone. Earlier this year, Parler claimed 16 million “registered users.” Please note the term of art: “registered users” are not necessarily “daily active users,” which is the more germane number for a social network. So we can safely assume that the DAU number is some much smaller fraction of 16 million.
Some large number of these DAUs are bots being used to promote Only Fans accounts and financial scams, per a fairly definitive Stanford study.
And the user growth curve on Parler has not been terribly steep. There have been months when the total number of downloads for the Parler app have been in the four-digit range. Not a typo.
So: Parler is not popular.
How about “libertarian leaning”? That euphemism makes it sound like Parler is a CATO hangout, a place where you go to discuss John Galt and Ludwig Von Mises.
Not so much.
Parler may have been funded by someone (Rebekah Mercer) who claims to be libertarian. But the user base seems to skew pretty heavily toward racist, anti-Semitic freakshows.
Let me refresh you from an FAQ Tim Miller and Hannah Yoest did about Parler:
1) Do you have questions about whether the George Floyd murder is a false flag? If so, this is a good place to explore those theories.
2) Are you interested in exploring theories about Jewish history or Judaism?
3) Do you like to learn about history . . . and the influence of Judaism on key historical figures?
4) Are you interested in current events? . . . and, again, the influence of Judaism therein?
5) Have you felt that the existing social media platforms don’t provide you enough opportunity to make post pro-slavery memes?
6) Jesus was white and had blue eyes. Agree or Agree?
If you’ve gotten this far and are interested, we do have a bit of bad news. Most of the available user names containing the N-word have already been taken by the original settlers:
So not really “libertarian leaning” and populated by “conservatives”—unless you think most libertarians and conservatives are racist incel Trump worshipers.
And then there’s the Journal’s euphemism for the jag Ye has been on. Has Kanye been out there sallying forth into the “debate” on “free speech”? Is he doing high-minded activism rooted in his love of the First Amendment? Is Kanye ready to start working with FIRE?
Or might it be more accurate to say that over the last few weeks Kanye has been having some big feelings about TEH JOOOS?
In sum: Parler isn’t libertarian-leaning, it isn’t popular, its audience isn’t best described as “conservatives,” and Ye isn’t engaging in a debate on free-speech.
But at least the Journal is correct that Kanye seems to be attempting to buy it.
I have . . . questions . . . about this purchase.