Parler, founded in 2018, touts itself as “the world’s premier free speech platform.” On Saturday, CEO and co-founder John Matze said one of the privately-owned company’s early investors is Rebekah Mercer, who along with her father, hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, has been a backer of President Trump and is also a major donor to conservative causes including Breitbart News and former White House strategist Steve Bannon.
“John and I started Parler to provide a neutral platform for free speech,” Rebekah Mercer wrote on Parler on Saturday. She went on to condemn “the ever increasing tyranny and hubris of our tech overlords.”…
Shannon McGregor, who studies social media at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, said the misinformation already thriving on Parler is cause for alarm.
“What we’ve seen in the past with some of these other fringe or alternative social media sites is, if there’s no rules and if it’s really siloed, then what happens is it gets more and more extreme.”
That includes Gab, an alternative social network that has become notorious for hosting anti-Semitic and white nationalist content. It was used by the accused 2018 shooter at a Pittsburgh synagogue.