Social media app Parler, funded by conservative hedge-fund investor Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, has seen nearly 1 million new downloads in the days after the US presidential election, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The social network app has positioned itself as a free-speech-focused alternative to the behemoths of Silicon Valley. The Nevada-based company says it “is the solution to problems that have surfaced in recent years due to changes in Big Tech policy influenced by various special-interest groups.”
Several influential conservative social media personalities and pundits have encouraged their followers to abandon Twitter and Facebook because of their moderation policies, and instead follow them on Parler.
On Saturday (Nov 14), 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 (Nov 14). She went on to condemn "the ever increasing tyranny and hubris of our tech overlords."
Unlike Twitter and Facebook, Parler doesn’t use content-recommendation algorithms. It refrains collecting data about its users. Parler simply shows users all the posts from everyone they follow, in reverse chronological order.
According to the WSJ report, the company’s user base has already soared to 10 million in under a week making it difficult for its roughly 30-person staff to keep up with the flood of new sign-ups.
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