500,000 people created accounts on the social media platform Parler after Twitter banned two conservative accounts Tuesday.
Parler’s user base increased by 50% this week, bringing the total number of users to over 1.5 million, Mediaite reported Thursday. (RELATED: Jennifer Lawrence Finally Joins Twitter For This One Reason)
The surge comes after Twitter permanently banned the account of Carpe Donktum, and locked the account of The National Pulse Editor-In-Chief Raheem Kassam. Both accounts, which were locked Tuesday, have over 200,000 followers.
Conservatives, who were already frustrated with Twitter for what they say is arbitrary and unfair banning of right-wing accounts, flocked to Parler after the two accounts were suspended. Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz both joined the platform.
Technology companies shouldn’t be able to put their thumb on the scale and reshape speech in our country. Features of the technology should apply equally to people regardless of viewpoint.
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) June 25, 2020
“The left wants to defund the actual police,” Gaetz said in his first post on Parler. “I would just like to defund the thought police in Silicon Valley.”
Parler, which brands itself as the free speech alternative to Twitter, does restrict certain content, but the platform uses broadcast standards, which censors things like pornography but not political speech, according to Mediaite.
Conservatives first started joining Parler when the site was created in 2018. Parler co-founder and CEO John Matze said in 2018 that “big tech is not too big to topple, in fact, they are blinded by their size/power and are hurting themselves by ideologically targeting groups.”