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Former First Lady Melania Trump has entered into a ‘special arrangement’ with Parler, the free speech-focused social media site announced on Wednesday.
Trump’s deal means she will post ‘exclusive communications on Parler,’ a statement from the company posted on Substack read. It’s not immediately clear if or how much she was compensated.
‘I am excited and inspired by free speech platforms that give direct communication to people worldwide,’ the former first lady said in her own statement.
‘Parler has been on the forefront of utilizing Web3 technology and empowers its users to foster productive discourse.’
Parler also powers Trump’s new blockchain technology platform MelaniaTrump.com, which she unveiled in December for the purpose of selling non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.
The platform founded in 2018 amid a right-wing backlash against social media giants like Twitter and Facebook over their alleged anti-conservative censorship efforts.
Melania Trump is partnering with Parler, which has 16 million users, to post ‘exclusive’ content on the ‘free speech’ focused site
It’s since grown to have 16 million users.
‘Mrs. Trump and Parler have found synergy in the shared desire to embrace Web3 technology. As part of the synergistic relationship, Mrs. Trump will share exclusive communications on Parler,’ the announcement stated.
Company CEO George Farmer hailed the former first lady as a a world ‘icon.’
‘In the time that Parler and Mrs. Trump have been working together, we have found a new level of productivity and engagement with both her, her team, and her brand, Farmer said.
‘Parler is excited to take this step forward with her and continues to build out its product offering to support her professional evolution as one of the world’s leading icons.’
Trump’s recent Parler activity primarily involves promotion of her NFT venture and auctions on MelaniaTrump.com.
Another recent post promoted an initiative aimed at improving access to education for foster children, which she said was an off-shoot of her White House-era ‘Be Best’ initiative.
The former first lady primarily uses the site to promote her NFT and blockchain venture
She also showcases causes, like this initiative related to her White House-era Be Best campaign
Parler had gone dark for weeks early last year after major service providers cut it off for failing to police violent content that led to the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. The site was among the online places Donald Trump’s supporters discussed going to Washington, DC on to protest President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
The former president was barred from both Facebook and Twitter after the insurrection.
His wife still maintains her accounts on the sites. It’s not clear if the ‘exclusive’ deal with Parler means she’ll relinquish the use of those platforms.
Trump’s deal with Parler also comes as her husband Donald Trump readies to launch his own social media venture, TRUTH Social, by the end of March.
The ex-president said he launched TRUTH Social to compete with Big Tech platforms, which have felt a particularly strong backlash since the COVID-19 pandemic, as some claim they are doing too much to police virus misinformation while others say they aren’t doing enough.
He said last year that he was the ‘only person in America with the megaphone, the resources, the experience, and the desire’ to mount such a challenge.
But the company partnered with TRUTH Social, Digital World Acquisition Corp., saw shares tumble recently after newly-appointed Trump Media and Technology Group CEO Devin Nunes announced its launch would be delayed from its original February 21 date.
Parler, popular with right-wing pundits and figures, gained traction in the wake of a conservative backlash against Big Tech ‘censorship’ on platforms like Facebook and Twitter