It’s been a very busy week for social media news! President Trump was permanently banned from Twitter this afternoon after being suspended indefinitely from Facebook and Instagram yesterday, and today Apple issued a warning to the social media network that right-wing users have been joining for the past few months, Parler, have joined.
Parler has generated a lot of criticism and scrutiny over the past few months, in large part due to the lax moderation policy. While Facebook, Twitter, and most of the major social platforms tackled the spread of misinformation in elections, Parler did not, and Parler was also the platform that did a fair amount of planning and communication around the forcible storming of the Capitol United States on Wednesday took place.
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Apple today made serious allegations against Parler for failing to stop the attack on the Capitol and continuing to allow further dangerous activities to be planned.
“We have received numerous complaints about objectionable content on your Parler service, allegations that the Parler app was used to plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal activities in Washington DC on January 6, 2021 that (among others ) resulted in death, numerous injuries and property destruction. The app seems to continue to be used to plan and facilitate further illegal and dangerous activities. “
Apple sent Parler a rather long letter asking for improvements to the moderation of its platform within 24 hours. Otherwise, Apple would remove Parler from the Apple App Store. Apparently, Google has the same concerns, but instead of giving Parler a grace period to band together, Google Play has immediately suspended the app until it does better guidelines of his app.
Given the number of changes that would be required to bring Parler back up to date on moderation and content policies, it is impossible to determine when or if the app will return to Google Play.
Update, April 19 (6:00 p.m. ET) – Parler’s return likely imminent
Google confirmed today (via Mark Gurman) to allow Parler to return to the Play Store once the changes have been made to its Android app in accordance with the Play Store guidelines. The report comes after Parler prepares to release a version of its app that complies with App Store guidelines (and Apple has determined that the update will be available immediately). An equivalent Android version has yet to be submitted for approval, but it is unlikely to be far behind.
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