Meet Rebekah Mercer, the deep-pocketed co-founder of Parler, a controversial conservative social network

Mecer is the daughter of Robert Mercer, a hedge fund supervisor and the co-founder of the now-defunct political data-analysis agency Cambridge Analytica. The Mercers have been outstanding supporters of President Donald Trump and conservative causes.
“John and I started Parler to provide a neutral platform for free speech, as our founders intended, and also to create a social media environment that would protect data privacy,” Mercer said in a statement on the platform. “The ever increasing tyranny and hubris of our tech overlords demands that someone lead the fight against data mining, and for the protection of free speech online. That someone is Parler, a beacon to all who value their liberty, free speech, and personal privacy.”

Parler, based in 2018 by Mercer, John Matze and Jared Thomson, payments itself as “unbiased social media” and a place the place individuals can “speak freely and express yourself openly without fear of being ‘deplatformed’ for your views,” in response to its web site and App Store description. It seems like a mashup of Twitter and Instagram, with its most important feed, follower counts and methods to share posts and hyperlinks.

The platform grew to become the most-downloaded free app in the Apple App Store on the weekend of November 8 — the day main media shops known as the election for Joe Biden.

Parler principally attracts conservative customers. Some of Parler’s most-active customers embrace Fox News host Sean Hannity, radio character Mark Levin, far-right activist Laura Loomer, Senator Ted Cruz and Congressman Devin Nunes. Eric Trump and Donald Trump’s presidential marketing campaign even have accounts on the platform.

A considerable quantity of customers have adopted these voices onto the platform, fueled by complaints over actions main social media platforms have taken towards election misinformation and false allegations of voter fraud, corresponding to disputing claims with fact-check labels.

Twitter (TWTR), greater than Facebook (FB), took aggressive motion on many of President Trump’s tweets during the election. At one level, the social network utilized warning labels to greater than a third of Trump’s tweets after polls closed. Some of Trump’s tweets have been hidden behind a warning label which customers needed to click on by means of earlier than having the ability to learn what they mentioned.
With large tech firms flagging false info, Parler has turn into a free-for-all for conservative voices. According to an ADL report launched on Thursday, members of the Proud Boys, adherents of conspiracy theory QAnon, anti-government extremists and white supremacists all brazenly promote their views on Parler. “Holocaust denial, antisemitism, racism and other forms of bigotry are also easy to find,” the ADL mentioned.

Who is Rebekah Mercer?

Rebekah Mercer in 2017

For years, the Mercers have been key benefactors of conservative teams, starting from the Heritage Foundation suppose tank, the place Rebekah Mercer serves on the board of trustees, to organizations which have produced anti-Hillary-Clinton books and films.

But the household emerged in nationwide politics in the 2016 election cycle when Robert Mercer, who helped oversee Renaissance Technologies hedge fund, and his spouse Diane, donated greater than $23 million to teams that backed conservative candidates, in response to a tally by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.

In that election, the Mercers financed a tremendous PAC that originally backed Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination earlier than throwing its assist behind Trump.

The media-shy Rebekah Mercer is extensively reported to have persuaded then-candidate Trump to reshuffle his marketing campaign group and rent Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway to assist run his presidential bid in the last stretch of the 2016 election. Rebekah Mercer went on to serve on the govt committee of Trump’s transition workforce,

Rebekah Mercer didn’t reply to a request for remark. Robert Mercer stepped other than Renaissance in 2017.

— CNN’s Fredreka Schouten and Kaya Yurieff contributed to this report

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