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Tag: parler ban

Trump Sought Ownership Deal With Parler While Still President

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

While in office, former Donald Trump repeatedly profited off of both the presidency and his businesses. So it isn't really surprising that Trump tried to profit off of the far-right Twitter-copycat Parler too. Spoiler alert: It didn't work.

"The Trump Organization negotiated on behalf of then-president Donald Trump to make Parler his primary social network, but it had a condition: an ownership stake in return for joining," a recent Buzzfeed News report reveals. The talks reportedly began last summer and resumed after Trump lost the 2020 election.

Parler offered the Trump Organization a 40% stake in the company for Trump to join, with the idea that it would eventually challenge both Twitter and Facebook if Trump promised to post his content there four hours before posting it anywhere else. At a June 2020 meeting at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Floria, Parler's now-former CEO John Matze and shareholders Dan Bongino and Jeffrey Wernick met with Trump's former campaign manager, accused grifter and spouse abuser Brad Parscale, as well as Trump campaign lawyer Alex Cannon.

Here's the deal's details:

"Upon completion of that deal, half of that stake would have been given immediately to the Trump Organization, while the other half would have been doled out in tranches over the 24-month period of the agreement.... Parler also asked that Trump link back to Parler when posting to other social media sites or emailing his supporters, and to allow the company to use his email lists to promote its platform. In addition, Parler wanted Trump to make introductions to any potential investors or advertisers."

Surprisingly, "the White House counsel's office soon put a stop to the talks, one person with knowledge of the discussions said, ruling that such a deal while Trump was president would violate ethics rules," Buzzfeed reports.

Then, talks completely disintegrated after the attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. After the attempted coup, Amazon, Apple, and Google all booted Parler from their services because the social network had become a hotbed for right-wingers threatening violence and insurrection.

Parler has remained offline ever since. This week, Matze was booted as its CEO by the company's board and was also stripped of his severance and equity in the company. Matze claims he was booted because he wanted the so-called "free speech" network to introduce content moderation and ban accounts associated with far-right extremists, although the company has said his claim is inaccurate.

In addition to hosting far-right conspiracy theorists and bigots, Parler has also had trouble with child pornography being posted on its network, though the company refutes this as well.

The Trump family and Trump Organization, run by his sons, have both repeatedly made international business deals that benefitted from Trump's standing as president, according to Vox, CBS News, Politico, The Los Angeles Times and other publications.

Apple, Amazon, And Google Drop Parler For Permitting Far-Right 'Threats Of Violence'

Apple, Amazon, and Google have all placed a ban on Parler, a social media app popular among ultra-conservatives and far-right hate groups, according to the New York Times.

"We have always supported diverse points of view being represented on the App Store, but there is no place on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity," Apple's statement announcing their ban on Parler said. "Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people's safety."

Apple even gave Parler the chance to revise its policies, which they did, but Apple claimed that the social media site did not go far enough to justify keeping Parler on their app store.

Both Amazon and Google gave similar reasons for taking the far-right social media hotbed off their platforms.

Google did recognize in their statement that "there can be a reasonable debate about content policies and that it can be difficult for apps to immediately remove all violative content," but they noted that they "require that apps implement robust moderation for egregious content," which they claim Parler was not doing.

Amazon's removal of Parler could be the most harmful to the future of the so-called "free-speech alternative to Twitter and Facebook," because they use Amazon as their web-hosting service, the New York Times reported.

"Amazon's move meant that Parler's entire platform would soon go offline unless it was able to find a new hosting service on Sunday," said The Times.

John Matze, Parler's chief executive, said in a text message, "I have a lot of work to do in the next 24 hours to make sure everyone's data (on Parler) is not permanently deleted off the internet," while also accusing big tech of wanting to "kill competition," according to the Times.

The news comes just days after a violent mob stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to disrupt our nation's democratic process. After reports that these far-right terrorists have planned the attacks for months in plain sight on social media platforms, big tech has started to crack-down on both the people and services, like Parler, that made the attack possible. President Donald Trump being banned from almost every large social media platform over the weekend is the biggest example of that.

Here is a list of platforms that have removed/banned President Trump according to Axios:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Snapchat
  • TikTok
  • Apple
  • Reddit
  • Twitch
  • Shopify
  • Google
  • Discord
  • Pinterest
The removals have been met with conservative backlash, but the violence and the undeniable evidence that platform's like Parler and far-right figures like Trump have promoted violence, hate, and are at least partially responsible for the attacks on the Capitol, which was an abomination to democracy and embarrassment to our country.

"Amazon said that it had sent the company 98 examples of posts on its site that encouraged violence and that many remained active," reported the Times.

USA Today reported, "Accounts connected to supporters of Trump, QAnon and far-right anti-government group III%ers explicitly or implicitly call for violence on Parler, with some asserting Wednesday, 'the war begins today.'"