Apple to bring social media platform Parler back to App Store

Platform Economy: Parler App

Apple will bring controversial social media app Parler back to its App Store according to a letter sent to two Republican lawmakers.

The letter, obtained by journalists at our partner news agency Reuters, said that after substantial conversations with Parler, the app had proposed updates to its app and content moderation policy that would lead to it being reinstated.

The major tech platforms, many of who likely saw the viral upstart as a threat to the hegemony banned Parler following the attack by supporters of Republican President Trump at the Capitol that left five people dead.

They accused the app, which is backed by prominent GOP donor Rebekah Mercer, of failing to police violent content on its service. Something many commentators accuse Twitter, Facebook and many other social networks of doing.

It was not clear what changes that Parler, which has styled itself as a free-speech space for those seeking an alternative to major platforms like Facebook and Twitter, had made to the app or its moderation.

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Parler went dark for about a month after Amazon suspended web-hosting services, saying the app had failed to effectively moderate violent content. Apple and Google removed it from their app stores.

Parler returned online in February with Los Angeles-based private cloud infrastructure SkySilk. Its Chief Executive Officer John Matze was fired by the board. Parler also sued Amazon, accusing it of trying to destroy its business.

Apple’s letter said the updated Parler app would be available immediately upon Parler releasing it.

Apple declined to comment. Parler did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The letter, which was first reported by the infotainment outlet CNN, was addressed to two GOP lawmakers, Senator Mike Lee and Representative Ken Buck, who last month wrote to big tech CEOs questioning their actions over Parler.

Apple said in the letter it rejected about 30,000 apps from the App Store in 2020 due to problematic user-generated content.

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It said it made an independent decision to remove Parler for not complying with its guidelines and did not coordinate or consult with Google or Amazon.

A Google spokesperson said Parler has been available on Android because of the openness of the platform even if it isn’t currently distributed through Google Play.

“As we stated back in January, Parler is welcome back in the Play Store once it submits an app that complies with our policies,” the spokesperson said, adding that Parler has not submitted an updated version of its Android app till now.

Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Translation from English to a growing list of other languages via Google AI Cloud Translation. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford in New York, Nilanjana Basu and Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru. Editing by Anil D’Silva and Arun Koyyur. Comment by Rob Phillips.

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