Parler, the social-media platform that bills itself as a free-speech alternative to Twitter, became the top free application by downloads in the United States over the weekend, according to data from Apple.
The development accompanies a surge in platform manipulation on Twitter and Facebook, with those companies seeking to prevent users from reading about claims the election was affected by fraud. Twitter censored a third of the president’s posts on the topic between the election and the following Thursday, while Facebook targeted a little more than half.
Twitter similarly targeted the president’s supporters, in addition to banning The National Pulse, an account associated with his former campaign chairman, Stephen Bannon. That move came after Bannon referred — in a broadcast outside of Twitter — to the practice in Tudor England of putting “heads on pikes,” and said he would apply the same practice to disloyal officials in the Trump administration.
Conservative pundit Dan Bongino, who began dabbling in the realm of media executives this year after purchasing stakes in Parler and the video-sharing platform Rumble, assured users over the weekend that he was still involved in the company — and said the platform was adding a significant number of users.
“Parler has NOT been sold,” Bongino wrote on Twitter. “I assure you, as an owner of the company, that if we sold it, I would know! Parler has exploded. We’re adding thousands of users per minute & were working out the glitches as a result. But don’t buy internet BS rumors from hoaxsters. I own Parler.”
The two-year-old app first made headlines in June, when Twitter banned conservative meme-maker Carpe Donktum and temporarily suspended conservative commentator Raheem Kassam, who co-hosts a daily online program with Bannon. Those actions motivated 500,00 users to sign up for Parler over the course of three days, representing a 50-percent increase in the company’s user base. Daily activity by some of those users diminished in subsequent months before flaring up again this week.
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