Parler’s New Owners Swear This Time Will Be Different


“Technically it’s not a rehash,” Pierotti said. “If you look back at the history of it, Parler ran so many of these other platforms could walk.”

Rhodes also said threats of physical harm wouldn’t be allowed on Parler. “We are going to monitor certain things that had previously gotten them in trouble, such as some of the comments about Mike Pence and things that drew negative attention,” Rhodes said. (In 2021, calls to “hang Mike Pence” proliferated on the platform, in addition to other calls for violence. Apple cited “posts that encouraged violence, denigrated various ethnic groups, races and religions, glorified Nazism, and called for violence against specific people” among its reasons for removing Parler from the App Store.)

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

Rhodes repeated to WIRED that he and Pierotti are the current partial owners of the company through PDS Partners, though he would not name the other owners and investors. “One of the reasons why we technically won’t disclose is because we don’t need media, people going after these private companies and trying to put them out publicly and ostracize them for purchasing or being involved,” says Pierotti. “There’s nothing sinister that we don’t want to divulge that.”

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

There are still questions about who will be running the company day-to-day. Rhodes said that there was a management team listed on Parler’s website but then added that it might be “temporarily down.” Rhodes said the management team was listed on its website as recently as last week, but WIRED was unable to locate that information using the Internet Archive.

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

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

Though Parler being hosted by its own cloud computing business could inoculate it from the action taken by Amazon in the wake of the Capitol riot, should something similar happen again, the site will still be at the mercy of Apple’s and Google’s policies if it wants to distribute through app stores.

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



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