The far-right-wing “free speech” platform Parler that bans liberals, recently fired its co-founder and CEO John Matze. It’s a social site for extremists and they do not moderate comments, and some of them are off the rails. The social site has essentially been de-platformed, but one person would have brought in even more traffic if he had joined: Donald J. Trump. That was reportedly in the works, though, according to a report from BuzzFeed News.
“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, according to documents and four people familiar with the conversations,” the outlet reports. “The deal was never finalized, but legal experts said the discussions alone, which occurred while Trump was still in office, raise legal concerns with regards to anti-bribery laws.”
Trump joining the site has been discussed for a while now.
“Talks between members of Trump’s campaign and Parler about Trump’s potential involvement began last summer and were revisited in November by the Trump Organization after Trump lost the 2020 election to the Democratic nominee and current president, Joe Biden,” the report states. “Documents seen by BuzzFeed News show that Parler offered the Trump Organization a 40% stake in the company. It is unclear as to what extent the former president was involved with the discussions.”
“Until the Jan. 6 insurrection, after which Facebook and Twitter suspended or banned him for continuing to sow discord about the election, Trump used those internet platforms to peddle baseless conspiracy theories,” the report adds. “While doing so, his representatives actively negotiated to bring him to Parler, which sought to make the president a business partner who would help it compete with Twitter and Facebook by getting him to post his content on its platform first.”
After the former president’s personal account was banned on Twitter, he tweeted from his @POTUS account, and that was shut down, too. Trump used that account to suggest that he’s looking into starting his own social site after he was given the boot. “We have been negotiating with various other sites, and will have a big announcement soon, while we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future,” he tweeted before getting banned again.
You can read the full report here.