Breaking: Starboard Acquires Parler, Pauses Platform for Major Strategic Overhaul

Digital media company Starboard, previously known as Olympic Media, has announced its acquisition of Parler, the conservative social media platform that gained popularity among supporters of former US President Donald Trump. The acquisition comes just a few months after rapper Kanye West, now known as Ye, announced he would be purchasing the platform. However, that deal fell through after West faced financial difficulties resulting from controversial comments he made.

In a statement, Starboard explained its reasons for the acquisition, saying, “No reasonable person believes that a Twitter clone just for conservatives is a viable business any more.” The company praised CEO George Farmer for his leadership, noting that he has “done an exceptional job at successfully leading Parler into a critically important industry where it has already begun to excel.” Specifically, Starboard will shift the platform’s focus towards the cloud and IT infrastructure space.

As part of the acquisition, Starboard plans to take down the Parler app temporarily while conducting a strategic review of its operations. Despite the app’s shortcomings, the company sees “tremendous opportunities across multiple sectors to continue to serve marginalized or even outright censored communities – even extending beyond domestic politics.”

The deal’s financial terms have not been disclosed.

Parler was founded in 2018 as a free speech alternative to platforms like Twitter and Facebook, which some critics have accused of censoring conservative voices. The platform gained popularity among Trump supporters during the 2020 US presidential election, as many right-leaning users migrated from Twitter to Parler in search of a less restrictive environment.

However, the platform faced significant backlash and was dropped by multiple service providers, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), in the wake of the January 6 Capitol riots. As a result, Parler went offline for more than a month before resurfacing with new hosting services and a less restrictive moderation policy.

Despite its tumultuous past, Starboard sees potential for growth in the platform. By focusing on the cloud and IT infrastructure sectors, the company believes that it can tap into new markets and appeal to a broader range of users.

The acquisition represents a major shift in direction for Parler, which will now face the challenge of rebuilding its brand and user base. The temporary removal of the app from operation may prove beneficial in this regard, as it will allow the company to conduct a thorough strategic review and make any necessary changes to its infrastructure and moderation policies.

However, this doesn’t mean that the platform will completely abandon its conservative roots. The statement from Starboard suggests that Parler will continue to cater to “marginalized or even outright censored communities,” which may include conservative users who feel unwelcome on other platforms.

But the acquisition and ensuing rebranding come with several challenges. Parler will need to overcome the negative reputation it gained as a platform frequented by extremists and conspiracy theorists. Moreover, it will have to strike a delicate balance between allowing free speech and preventing the spread of harmful content.

In this sense, the acquisition by Starboard can be seen as an opportunity for Parler to reinvent itself – a chance to emerge from the controversies that have plagued the platform and create a more welcoming environment for users of all political persuasions while still catering to its original intended audience.

Moreover, as Starboard expands Parler’s focus beyond politics and the domestic market, it may be able to create a global brand that champions free speech and open discourse. By refining its moderation policies and collaborating with users to create a safe and inclusive environment, Parler may yet succeed in carving out a unique niche in the digital media landscape.

In conclusion, the acquisition of Parler by Starboard represents a significant shift in the platform’s direction and focus, with potential opportunities for growth beyond the domestic political realm. However, the company will need to carefully navigate the challenges that come with rebuilding its brand and overcoming its troubled past. With the right strategy and execution, Parler could well become a success story in the world of digital media.


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