Kanye West has begun the process of buying alternative messaging platform Parler after his Twitter and Instagram accounts were locked.
A statement from parent company Parlement Technologies said it has entered into an agreement in principle for the rapper, who has legally changed his name to Ye, to acquire the site.
It said the acquisition “ensures Parler a future role in creating an uncancellable ecosystem where all voices are welcome”.
Parler has styled itself as an unbiased platform and has become popular with those banned from Twitter, also hosting prominent American conservative voices.
The social network was removed from app services including Apple and Amazon for a period following the US Capitol attack because of concerns over its role in the violence.
West said: “In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves.”
Parler chief executive George Farmer said: “This deal will change the world, and change the way the world thinks about free speech.
“Ye is making a groundbreaking move into the free speech media space and will never have to fear being removed from social media again.”
Under the terms of their agreement in principle, the parties intend to enter into a definitive purchase agreement and expect to close during the fourth quarter of 2022.
Last week, West’s Twitter and Instagram accounts were locked with a spokesman for Meta, the parent company of the social media platforms, saying the rapper had posted messages which violated its policies.
His Twitter account is still active but he cannot post until the suspension ends, after an unspecified period.
Earlier this month, West was criticised for wearing a White Lives Matter T-shirt to his collection at Paris Fashion Week.