Apple on Saturday expelled Parler, the social network favored by conservatives and right-wing extremists, from the App Store after it failed to implement a full moderation plan following criticism that the platform was used to plan the riot at the US Capitol.
“Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety,” Apple said in a statement. “We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues.”
According to a Friday morning email, which was obtained by BuzzFeed News, Apple had given Parler 24 hours to implement a moderation plan or face expulsion from the App Store.
Apple allowed the 24-hour warning to lapse, but banned the app a few hours later.
Those who had the app downloaded on their phone prior to the suspension will be able to continue using it; the ban prevents new downloads and prevents Parler from updating the app. Future updates to iOS could cause the app to stop working.
In the email sent to Parler’s executives Friday morning, Apple said there had been complaints that the service had been used to plan and coordinate the deadly storming of the US Capitol by a group of mostly white supporters of President Donald Trump.
Parler, launched in 2018, has become popular among right-wing extremists, conspiracy theorists, and Trump supporters seeking an alternative from mainstream social networks.
With its lax moderation policies, the platform has attracted hate group members, conspiracy theorists, and right-wing extremists who openly advocate for violence.
Google also pulled Parler from its Play store Friday evening after threatening to do so if the website did not implement a moderation plan to address “this ongoing and urgent public safety threat.”
In the days after the storming of the Capitol, John Matze, Parler’s CEO, wrote that his social network has no way to “organize anything” and that Facebook groups were heavily used to organize the riots. Matze said bad actors turned the protests into a riot and that Parler was turned into a scapegoat.
“Violence and coordinating riots, coordinating rebellions and coordinating insurrections has no place on social media,” Matze wrote. “We value free speech per what the US constitution allows. What the media is doing is by continuing to attack is disgusting. We need to get together and Parley and heal and move on.”
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