The alternative social network Parler and representatives of former president Donald Trump were reportedly considering an idea to make Trump an active member of the platform after he left office, but Parler apparently pushed back on one key part of the proposed arrangement: the platform did not want to ban Trump’s detractors, according to an excerpt of Michael Wolff’s upcoming book about the last days of Trump’s presidency published in New York Magazine.
Here’s what was going on, according to Wolff:
One curious point of consideration for the [Trump] family [the morning of January 6th] — prescient of the events that would shortly unfold — was a follow-up to a discussion initiated some months before by aides and family. Trump representatives, working with Trump-family members, had approached Parler, the social network backed by Bob Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, far-right exponents and large Trump contributors. They had floated a proposition that Trump, after he left office, become an active member of Parler, moving much of his social-media activity there from Twitter. In return, Trump would receive 40 percent of Parler’s gross revenues and the service would ban anyone who spoke negatively about him.
Parler was balking only at this last condition.
Parler, which has been popular with conservative users, has long promoted itself as a social network that isn’t moderated as tightly as other platforms, so it’s not entirely surprising that it didn’t want to lay down a red line on content, even at the request of its most famous potential user. The company has not replied to a request for comment about the reported discussions.
In February, BuzzFeed News also reported on the conversations about Trump’s potential increased involvement with Parler, but shared different proposed terms — “Parler offered the Trump Organization a 40% stake in the company,” according to BuzzFeed News — and did not report on Parler’s apparent refusal to ban Trump critics.
Shortly after the January 6th attack on the US Capitol, Parler was banned by Apple and Google from their respective app stores and Amazon terminated Parler’s hosting. The app returned to Apple’s App Store in May, though it had some content excluded. It still isn’t available on Google Play.