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The alternative social media platform Parler has said it was acquired by Starboard, a media company that believes the app needs to do more than cater to conservatives.

Parler’s app went live in 2018 but its popularity soared following the 2020 election among former President Donald Trump’s fans amid concerns about prominent platforms such as Facebook and Twitter censoring content online.

Big Tech took aim at Parler following the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Amazon Web Services booted Parler offline over concern that the platform’s content would lead to real-world harm and Apple and Google removed the app from their app stores.

Parler’s new buyers plan to pull the app down again this year to conduct a “strategic assessment” and determine how to serve censored communities, said Starboard, formerly Olympic Media, in a statement published to Parler’s website on Friday.

“No reasonable person believes that a Twitter clone just for conservatives is a viable business anymore,” the statement said.

Starboard said new advances in artificial intelligence and the company’s existing computer code will provide it an opportunity to build a new home for unsupported online communities at Parler.

“Parler’s large user base and additional strategic assets represent an enormous opportunity for Starboard to continue to build aggressively in our media and publishing business,” said Ryan Coyne, Starboard CEO, in a statement.

News outlets BizPacReview and American Wire, which produce content for conservative audiences, say on their websites that they are owned by Olympic Media, which is now Starboard.

Parler said in October 2022 that it reached an agreement to sell to Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West. Parler then said on Twitter in December it had reached a decision to terminate the sale with Mr. Ye in November.

As Parler has looked for new leaders to chart its future, other tech platforms have sprung up looking to cater to similar audiences. For example, Mr. Trump publishes short posts and shares content on Truth Social, his own social media platform. 

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