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Social Network Parler Restructures, Focuses on ‘Uncancellable Economy’

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Parler, a social network popular with conservatives, is restructuring to focus on providing services to online businesses at risk of being forced off the internet for controversial content.

The company, which itself was knocked offline after the U.S. Capitol riot last year, said it bought a cloud-services provider that will serve clients that want to be able to operate without being penalized because of political ideologies.

“We want to become a business powering what I call the uncancellable economy,” Chief Executive Officer George Farmer said in an interview. “We are not going to cancel people for their opinions.”

As part of the restructuring, Parler created a new parent company, Parlement Technologies Inc. The new company has completed a fundraising round for $16 million, bringing the total amount raised to $56 million. Mr. Farmer is the CEO of Parlement as well.

Nashville, Tenn.-based Parlement also said Friday that it has acquired Dynascale Inc., a provider of cloud services with around 50,000 square feet of data center space in the U.S. It has $30 million in annual recurring revenue and several hundred enterprise customers, according to Parlement, which declined to disclose the terms of the deal.

Launched in 2018, Parler bills itself as a free-speech alternative to larger social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. It says it doesn’t use algorithms to provide content recommendations.

Parler exploded in popularity in the run-up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Following the U.S. Capitol riot, Parler was removed from

Apple Inc.’s

App Store and

Alphabet Inc.’s

Google Play.

Amazon.com Inc.

stopped providing web-hosting services to the company, effectively knocking the social network offline. At the time, the tech companies said Parler had violated terms of service agreements, citing some of the content posted on its platform.

Parler sued Amazon in Seattle federal court, alleging that Amazon Web Services kicked the company off its cloud servers for political and anticompetitive reasons. The company said Parler was suspended for not removing violent content that violated AWS’s terms of service. The case is ongoing.

Parler resumed operations online by signing up with a different cloud provider. It was reinstated on the App Store in May 2021 after agreeing to add technology to detect violent content or incitements to violence. It returned to Google Play earlier this month after agreeing to modify some of its content-moderation policies and enforcement.

In March, Parler launched DeepRedSky, an online marketplace for buying and selling nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, featuring images with conservative themes. Mr. Farmer said DeepRedSky will likely be integrated into Parler someday. He added that Parler also provides infrastructure support for two NFT marketplaces owned by Melania Trump.

With Parlement’s acquisition of Dynascale, it has about 100 employees, and Parler’s online infrastructure is all controlled in-house, said Mr. Farmer.

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“Everything is homegrown,” he said. “We know how to operate our own tech stack, our own security.”

Parler has roughly 16 million registered users, Mr. Farmer said. It competes with other platforms, including former President

Donald Trump’s

Truth Social, which launched in the U.S. in February. Parlement would consider offering its services to Truth Social if it wanted them, Mr. Farmer said.

“We’re already talking to a large range of conservative businesses,” he said.

Mr. Farmer, 32 years old, was named CEO of Parler in May 2021, succeeding interim chief Mark Meckler, who left the social network. Mr. Farmer joined Parler earlier that year as operating chief and has worked in financial services for about a decade. A prominent U.K. conservative, he is married to

Candace Owens,

an American conservative author and commentator.

Mr. Farmer said his main focus is boosting Dynascale’s existing enterprise customer base and expanding its offerings.

“The endgame is to become more of an infrastructure and services business rather than the legacy social-media business,” he said.

Write to Sarah E. Needleman at [email protected]

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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