When right-wing social network Parler — which advertised itself as an "uncancelable free-speech social platform" — shut down in April, its parent company said, "no reasonable person believes that a Twitter clone just for conservatives is a viable business any more."
The reason Parler failed isn't that it was competing against Twitter, says Charlie Wurtzel in his Galaxy Brain column for The Atlantic [paywall]. It's because right-wing trolls couldn't own libs there. Parler wasn't fun.
Right-wing alt-tech platforms may attract investors and a flood of indignant new users with persecution complexes, but they are, ultimately, bad businesses. That's precisely because they lack the one thing that fuels far-right discourse: a way to own the libs. A culture war is no fun if there's no actual conflict, and while some journalist and pundit diehards remain, many of Twitter's prolific users are posting less and on different platforms. Social-media platforms that cater to the right's ideology eventually become tired and predictable—the result of the same loud people shaking their fists at digital clouds. History has shown us that there are plenty of ways a social network can die, but the quickest way is boredom.
Musk should probably take note of what happened to Parler, but as a right-wing troll himself, he can't help but turn Twitter into a large-scale version of Parler.