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Reportedly Parler Backed By Mercer, A Family Which Funded Cambridge Analytica

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Hedge-fund investor Robert Mercer, former principal investor in the now-defunct Cambridge Analytica, and his daughter Rebekah Mercer are among Parler’s financial backers, according to a new report.

People familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal about the Mercers’ ties to Parler—an American microblogging and social networking service launched in 2018 that has a significant user base of Trump supporters. Parler CEO John Matze confirmed that Rebekah Mercer was a lead investor in the early stages of the company and that her funding was conditional on the app relinquishing control to users on what they can see.

In the aftermath of Election Day, Parler was the most downloaded app on Android and Apple for most of last week, according to the Journal. Its rise in popularity doubled the platform’s user base to 10 million in less than seven days.

This illustration picture shows the social media website from Parler displayed on a computer screen in Arlington, Virginia on July 2, 2020.
Olivier Douliery/Getty

Twitter on Thursday announced that it had flagged about 300,000 election tweets for containing “disputed and potentially misleading” content, including at least 50 shared or retweeted by Trump. While liberals praised the social media giant for help with the spread of alleged disinformation, conservatives across the country decried censorship and criticized their decision to flag content.

Parler has differentiated itself from Twitter and Facebook with a hands-off philosophy. The platform largely allows individuals full control of what they wish to moderate and see on their feeds. Users can choose to filter out content that involves hate speech, violence and pornography, but they don’t have to. However, there are still volunteer moderators that focus on cutting spam, violent threats and illegal conduct.

Newsweek reached out to the Mercer Family Foundation for comment.

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