The Parler social network, popular among right-wing commenters, has been offline since January.
Parler offered the Trump Organization a 40% ownership stake in the company if then-President Donald Trump posted comments exclusively to the conservative social network, Buzzfeed News reported Friday. Negotiations started last summer and were revived in November after Trump lost the presidential election.
In June 2020, members of Trump's campaign met with senior management of Parler, Buzzfeed reported, but the White House legal counsel stopped the talks. When talks resumed, Parler proposed that Trump post to Parler four hours before posting to other social networks. Trump wasn't part of the negotiations, Buzzfeed reported, and no deal was struck.
Parler has been effectively shut down since January, when Apple and Google banished the app because of its content moderation. It was later taken offline when Amazon stopped hosting the service. Parler Chief Executive John Matze was fired this week.
Parler has attracted activity from right-wing commenters, including some who've been banned from Twitter and Facebook . Before it was taken offline, Parler billed itself as "unbiased social media ."
Trump's presidency put social media in the spotlight. He had millions of followers on Facebook and Twitter, and used the services for posting remarks, official announcements and baseless claims that the election had been stolen from him. After the Jan. 6 insurrection, when a mob of Trump supporters broke into the Capitol, Facebook blocked Trump indefinitely and Twitter banned his account permanently.
Parler, the Trump campaign and the Trump Organization, which oversees Trump's business interests, didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.