Parlement Technologies, the mum or dad firm of “censorship-free” social media platform Parler, has laid off a majority of its workers and most of its chief executives over the previous couple of weeks. The sudden purge of workers has thrown the way forward for Parler, one of many first conservative options to mainstream platforms, into query.

Parlement Technologies started shedding staff in late November, in line with a number of sources aware of the matter. These layoffs continued by means of at the very least the tip of December, when round 75 p.c of staffers had been let go in complete, leaving roughly 20 staff left working at each Parler and the parent-company’s cloud companies enterprise. A majority of the corporate’s executives, together with its chief know-how, operations, and advertising officers, have additionally been laid off, in line with a supply aware of the matter.

George Farmer, husband to conservative influencer Candace Owens, is the present CEO of Parlement Technologies, Parler’s mum or dad firm. Farmer changed Parler’s former CEO, John Matze, in May 2021, shortly after the app was unbanned from app shops. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal in February 2021, Matze mentioned he was ousted for his need to reshape the platform’s moderation insurance policies.

When requested for remark, an exterior PR consultant who beforehand labored on Parler’s account knowledgeable us that she not works with Parler. Parlement Technologies didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark from The Verge.

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Parler was based in 2018 on the peak of former President Donald Trump’s struggle towards social media platforms over their alleged discrimination towards conservative customers. The platform marketed itself as a “free speech” various to extra mainstream platforms like Facebook and Twitter, providing what it billed as anti-censorship moderation insurance policies.

The app surged in reputation all through the 2020 presidential election cycle, registering more than 7,000 new users per minute at its peak that November. But following the lethal January sixth riot on the US Capitol, Apple and Google expelled the app from their app shops after criticism that it was used to plan and coordinate the assault. These bans prevented new customers from downloading the app, successfully shutting down person progress.

Parler returned to Apple’s retailer 4 months after it was banned as soon as it supplied a slate of revamped moderation insurance policies. But by then, Trump’s personal social media platform was rumored for launch, and a handful of rival apps, like Gettr and Rumble, had entered the “censorship-free” social media market.

Parler’s person progress remained anemic as opponents emerged. Leveraging its historical past of being taken offline, the corporate introduced final September that it was forming a brand new enterprise, Parlement Technologies, which might home its social platform and a brand new “uncancelable” cloud companies enterprise. Parlement Technologies acquired the cloud infrastructure by buying Dynascale, a California-based firm, for $16 million in new funding.

After the acquisition, Parlement Technologies tried to dump Parler on a prepared purchaser. One potential purchaser advised The Verge that the platform had solely round 50,000 day by day energetic customers as of October 2022. On October seventeenth, Parlement Technologies mentioned that it had struck a take care of Ye, previously generally known as Kanye West, to purchase the corporate. The announcement got here shortly after Ye was locked out from each his Instagram and Twitter accounts for posting dangerous content material, together with antisemitic threats.

Ye has just lately stirred controversy by, amongst different acts, carrying “White Lives Matter” shirts with Owens throughout Paris Fashion Week and praising Hitler on Infowars, an internet program hosted by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. After the Infowars look, Parlement Technologies introduced that it had terminated its takeover take care of Ye.

“Parlement Technologies has confirmed that the company has mutually agreed with Ye to terminate the intent of sale of Parler,” an organization spokesperson mentioned in a press release final month. “This decision was made in the interest of both parties mid-November.”

It’s not clear how many individuals are at the moment employed to work on the Parler social media platform or the place it’s headed from right here. At the time of publication, the corporate has just one open job left on its web site: to handle its knowledge heart services in Los Angeles.

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