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Parler’s New Owners Swear This Time Will Be Different

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Parler’s New Owners Swear This Time Will Be Different

“Technically it’s not a repeat,” Pierotti said. “If you look back at its history, Parler ran so many of these other platforms that they could run.”

Rhodes also said threats of physical harm would not be allowed on Parler. “We’re going to keep an eye on some of the things that got them in trouble before, like some of the comments about Mike Pence and things that drew negative attention,” Rhodes said. (In 2021, calls to “hang” Mike Pence spread on the platform, among other calls for violence. Appeal cited “posts that encouraged violence, denigrated various ethnic groups, races and religions, glorified Nazism, and incited violence against specific people” were among the reasons for removing Parler from the App Store.)

Parler was acquired in April 2023 from right-wing marketing agency Starboard after a deal with popular musician Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, fell apart. In an interview, Starboard CEO Ryan Coyne said the company’s new owners, PDS Partners LLC, which includes Rhodes and Perotti, acquired Parler’s technology and intellectual property in January. Starboard retained data used for email and SMS marketing, Coyne said. Rhodes declined to comment on data retention and terms of the deal.

Rhodes reiterated to WIRED that he and Pierotti are the current partial owners of the company through PDS Partners, although he would not name the other owners and investors. “One of the reasons why we technically won’t make this public is because we don’t need media, people going after these private companies and trying to publicly out them and shut them out because they’re buying something or involved,” says Pierotti. “There is nothing sinister that we don’t want to reveal.”

The site was initially funded in part by Rebekah Mercer, daughter of Republican megadonor Robert Mercer, but Rhodes says the Mercer family reportedly won’t be involved with Parler this time.

There are still questions about who will run the company on a day-to-day basis. Rhodes said there was a management team on Parler’s website, but added it may be “temporarily offline.” Rhodes said the management team was listed on its website last week, but WIRED was unable to find that information using the Internet Archive.

Pierotti also says that PDS Partners is a cloud computing platform called Parler Cloud technology. In 2022, Parler announced it was acquiring internet infrastructure company Dynascale, although it is unclear who provides the underlying technology for its current offering. The new cloud technology will make Parler environmentally friendly, Pierotti said.

“Our technology and servers are submerged in water,” Pierotti claimed. “When it comes to electricity and things like that, we’ll use half of that, like typical companies do.”

While Parler, hosted by its own cloud computing company, could inoculate it from the action Amazon took in the wake of the Capitol riot, should something similar happen again, the site will still be at the mercy of the policy from Apple and Google if it wants. distribute via app stores.

Matze, the founder and former CEO of Parler, was skeptical that the new version of the site could be a success. “It’s clear they’re trying to take advantage of the election year,” Matze said. “People want to capitalize on the partisanship and the toxicity, if you will, that’s going on in our political cycles, and you’re just riding a product that feeds off of that. And that is not what these elections should be used for. And I don’t think it will get them the results they expect.”

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