After widespread bans from some more popular social media platforms, some conservatives are reportedly eyeing a new social media platform based around and for conservatives, Parler.
The platform is even being looked at by the Trump team as a potential campaign effort heading into 2020, Politico reports.
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As conservative distrust of social media giants rises to the top of Washington’s political agenda, Parler has also gained the notice of some bona fide Republican leaders: Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale and Utah Sen. Mike Lee both began posting on the site this month.
Having Trump’s imprimatur would give the platform overnight cachet and satisfy calls from his social media-savvy supporters for the president to stick it to the Silicon Valley companies with which he maintains a strained, symbiotic relationship.
According to an unidentified member of the re-election campaign, the team is considering setting the president up an account on the site but said there is no imminent plan to do so.
“It’s something he’s aware of and is checking out,” Politico reports a person on the Trump campaign team said of its manager. “We don’t currently have a plan to make a big move to the platform.”
The platform grew in recognition after conservative pundit Candace Owens promoted it on Twitter:
Owens — who recently departed the conservative youth group Turning Point USA — introduced Parler to the pro-Trump grassroots with a December tweet that began, “Wow. Everyone just found out about the new Twitter. Just want to say that I WAS THE FIRST CONSERVATIVE TO JOIN.” Her tweet in turn linked to a tweet from the chairman of X Strategies, a conservative communications firm, promoting Parler.
Parler’s founder, John Matze, said the Owens tweet swamped his site with 40,000 new users, causing its servers to malfunction. (He also said that X Strategies approached him after the tweet. The firm now does public relations work for Parler.)
Parler is the french word for “Speak,” and is pronounced “par-lay.” But as its user base has grown, Matze has seen that Americans tend to pronounce the word phonetically, as in “parlor,” evoking the room in a house where friends might sit down to chat.