Parler was released back in 2018 as the alternative to the mainstream social media sites due to the supposed crackdown of conservative speakers who were ousted from popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and even YouTube but the service is also getting ousted from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store over its moderation method which had been linked with the current dilemma whereby groups of mob stormed the Capitol Hill.
US President Donald Trump’s account had been ousted earlier today from Twitter and Parler got pulled down from Google Play Store while Apple is said to have given the service a 24 hours ultimatum to change its moderation policy or face the devastating effect of being ousted as well which could potentially be the end of Parler since these are the two biggest official platforms to download applications on the two of the biggest mobile operating systems in the world.
According to a report from Buzzfeed yesterday, Google took the step and required Parler’s administration to improve on its moderations or be banned forever.
“We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the US,” Google said in a statement Friday. “We recognize that there can be reasonable debate about content policies and that it can be difficult for apps to immediately remove all violative content, but for us to distribute an app through Google Play, we do require that apps implement robust moderation for egregious content.”
A letter which Apple also sent to Parler’s admin was acquired by Buzzfeed and it reads: “We have received numerous complaints regarding objectionable content in your Parler service, accusations that the Parler app was used to plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal activities in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021 that led (among other things) to loss of life, numerous injuries, and the destruction of property. The app also appears to continue to be used to plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities,” Apple reportedly said to Parler. “If we do not receive an update compliant with the App Store Review Guidelines and the requested moderation improvement plan in writing within 24 hours, your app will be removed from the App Store.”
Meanwhile Parler’s CEO John Matze in a post challenged the stance of Apple stating that the company doesn’t hold other bigger social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook to that same standard it’s being held.
“Apparently they believe Parler is responsible for ALL user generated content on Parler,” he said. “By the same logic, Apple must be responsible for ALL actions taken by their phones. Every car bomb, every illegal cell phone conversation, every illegal crime committed on an iPhone, Apple must also be responsible for.”
Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
If Parler get ousted from the Apple Store, it might be done for because the App Store is the only official way to distribute apps to iPhones so the sustainability of the service is dependent on if Parler is willing to compromise or be gone forever which is definitely what the business want this time of the year.
Parler is developed to be a mobile-only platform initially and can be reached though a web browser via its URL and the service utilize the modern Progressive Web Apps (PWA) design architecture meant to boost mobile user interaction and experience from smaller devices. While as for Android users, they can still sideload the application by downloading the APK file but they won’t be able to make automatic updates which are pat of the perks of downloading from the Google Play Store.
Banning apps is an example of “deplatforming,” an attempt to curtail disinformation, racist remarks, incitements to violence and other problematic communications. The modern internet provides an abundance of platforms to directly communicate to millions of people, and it’s proved challenging to balance the benefits of online discussion with the drawbacks.
Big Social Media Deplatforming
Twitter and other social media platforms have been aggressive lately over misinformation on their platforms and this has promoted the platform deplatforming a number of public figures with President Trump being the biggest of such on Friday after two of his tweet were said to incite violence.
The attack of the Capitol Hill has led to a lot of atrocities which Trump himself denounced in a video which he posted on YouTube. The insurrection has caused the death of five individuals, vandalism and property damage and with this, social media platforms have taken a much more aggressive stance over the issue while crackign down on anything they deemed as “Misinformation”.
The_Donald which is a major right-wing discussion forum was banned by Reddit and Twitter further banned a number of high-profile Right-wing profiles including QAnon.
Parler is important among the Right Wingers
The growth of Parler had become important in recent times as more people are dropping the mainstream media and their “censorships” in favor of Parler which allows them to express their freedom of speech. The platform is home to popular profiles like Donald Trump, Milo Yiannopoulos and other high-profile right-wing activists and public figures.
Meanwhile the stance of Google and Apple over Parler is due to Trump’s alleged “loyalists” storming the Capitol Hill which Parler is said to not be doing enough to curb the movement.
“Our investigation has found that Parler is not effectively moderating and removing content that encourages illegal activity and poses a serious risk to the health and safety of users in direct violation of your own terms of service,” Apple reportedly told Parler, citing a handful of examples purportedly showing violent threats. “Content of this dangerous and harmful nature is not appropriate for the App Store. As you know from prior conversations with App Review, Apple requires apps with user generated content to effectively moderate to ensure objectionable, potentially harmful content is filtered out. 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.”