Parler, the self-described "free speech social network," has seen an influx of users recently as politically conservative Americans who feel censored by the most popular platforms seek a new place to gather online.
Started in 2018, it has become the social home to controversial, far-right personalities some of whom, like conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, were banned from services like Twitter.
"I think right now they feel very much like outcasts on these other platforms," said John Matze, CEO of Parler. "When they're getting kicked off, they have nowhere else to go, and so Parler is where they're coming to."
However, Matze said he doesn't think this will lead to a homogenous echo chamber for a right and right-leaning user base. He expects a more diverse audience of liberals and centrist voices to join and create "discussion, debate, and discourse."
Battle Over Pennsylvania on Parler
When it comes to dealing with election misinformation, Matze was clear that Parler had no interest in managing a top-down approach to policing its community. The CEO acknowledged that a Team Trump account on the platform announcing that the President had won the state of Pennsylvania, a state already widely called for Joe Biden, wouldn't be taken down, even though it has been removed on other platforms.
"We don't know who won it yet, technically," Matze said, but even if the race is certified and the electors officially cast their votes for Joe Biden, he stated that it would not be Parler's place to make a call to take down such a post.
"We believe in people and their ability to solve these things on their own without our heavy hand," he added while knocking Twitter and Facebook's fact-checking approach. "Whether or not we allow that content, it's not going to change what [Trump] says. It is not going to change what people think."
Parler, which considers itself "viewpoint-neutral," now sits atop the free downloads rankings on the Apple App Store, according to Sensor Tower, as well as on Google Play, following the widely-called presidential race for Democrat Joe Biden over Republican incumbent Donald Trump.
Everyone is Welcome
As for the most famous Republican Twitter user, President Trump, Parler's CEO stated that the platform would be happy to have him join.
"Of course, the president would be welcome on to Parler, and so would former Vice President Joe Biden," said Matze. "In fact, actually, Joe Biden tweeted about Parler before President Trump did — even though it wasn't in the most flattering terms."
For the time being, Trump remains on Twitter, announcing on Monday that he had fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper and posting more accusations against the voting process in multiple states.