The Parler social media platform, which calls itself “free speech,” is funded by hedge fund investor Robert Mercer and his daughter and conservative activist Rebekah, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. American right-wing social media users have come to Parler, messaging app Telegram and hands-off social site Gab, and have spearheaded the more aggressive monitoring of political comments on mainstream platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
John Matze, Parler’s chief executive officer, who describes himself as libertarian, said he founded the company in 2018 as a bipartisan platform but doubled marketing for conservatives when they visited the site. Members include commentator Candace Owens, President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, and right-wing activist Laura Loomer, who tied herself to the door of Twitter’s New York office in November 2018 to oppose a website ban protest.
“John and I founded Parler to provide a neutral platform for freedom of speech, as our founders intended, and to create a social media environment that protects privacy,” Rebekah said in a post on Parler. “The growing tyranny and hubris of our tech overlords requires someone to lead the fight against data mining and to protect freedom of speech online,” she added
According to the Wall Street Journal, the company’s user base has more than doubled to 10 million in less than a week, making it difficult for its 30 or so employees to keep up with new signups.
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