Apple Joins Google Play in Suspending Parler From App Store Over Dangerous Content

Apple joined Google Play on Saturday in suspending Parler, the "free speech" social media platform favored by supporters of President Donald Trump, from its app store for failing to adequately moderate and remove dangerous and harmful content.

"Parler has not upheld its commitment to moderate or remove harmful or dangerous content encouraging violence and illegal activity, and is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines," the Apple Review Board said in a letter sent to Parler.

The board noted that they have "continued to find direct threats of violence and calls to incite lawless action in violation of Guideline 1.1—Safety—Objectionable Content."

Apple said that Parler's moderation plan "does not meet the ongoing requirements in Guideline 1.2—Safety—User Generated content" because a temporary task force is an insufficient response "given the widespread proliferation of harmful content."

"For these reasons, your app will be removed from the App Store until we receive an update that is compliant with the App Store Review Guidelines and you have demonstrated your ability to effectively moderate and filter the dangerous and harmful content on your service," the letter stated.

Here is the letter Apple sent Parler: "Parler has not upheld its commitment to moderate and remove harmful or dangerous content encouraging violence and illegal activity, and is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines."

— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) January 10, 2021

Apple's notice came one day after Google suspended Parler from the Google Play store for similar reasons, following the Wednesday attack by a pro-Trump mob on the U.S. Capitol.

Newsweek reached out to Parler for comment.

Google said it suspended Parler because it violated its policy against apps that encourage violence. To demonstrate their concerns, the company shared a Friday Parler post, which read: "How do we take back our country? About 20 or so coordinated hits."

Apple told Parler on Friday to "remove all objectionable content from your app ... as well as any content referring to harm to people or attacks on government facilities now or at any future date," or face removal from the app store in 24 hours.

In a previous letter to Parler, Apple asked the app to file a plan to restrict content.

"Content that threatens the well-being of others or is intended to incite violence or other lawless acts has never been acceptable on the App Store," the letter read.

Parler CEO John Matze railed against the decision and accused Apple of failing to apply the same standards that it is requiring of his app.

Conservatives, who support Trump's allegation that widespread voter fraud caused his election defeat to President-elect Joe Biden, have been signing up to Parler in droves in recent weeks to avoid the censorship of mainstream networks like Facebook and Twitter.

After Twitter suspended Trump permanently on Friday, the president accused the company of suppressing free speech and suggested that he may set up his own social media platform.

Lin Wood Parler
This illustration picture shows social media application logo from Parler displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Virginia on July 2, 2020. Olivier Douliery/Getty