Apple has announced it will reinstate conservative social media platform Parler in its App Store after a ban of several months. The move was announced this week in a letter to Senator Mike Lee and Representative Ken Buck, which was made public.
Apple was one of a number of companies, including Google and Amazon, that banned Parler after the January Capitol riot, which resulted in five deaths and hundreds of arrests. The Parler platform had been used by far-right members to call for violence and organize the attack on the Capitol.
Parler has been attempting to re-enter the App Store since its removal and submitted new guidelines around its content as recently as February. But Apple contended the guidelines were insufficient and did not comply with its rules regarding "hateful, racist or discriminatory content" on the App Store.
According to Apple, the companies have been working together and a new set of proposed moderation policies at Parler qualify the platform for reinstatement. The letter to Congress, from Timothy Powderly, senior director of government affairs in the Americas for Apple, states, "In the period since Apple removed the Parler app from the App Store, Apple’s App Review Team has engaged in substantial conversations with Parler in an effort to bring the Parler app into compliance with the Guidelines and reinstate it in the App Store. As a result of those conversations, Parler has proposed updates to its app and the app’s content moderation practices, and the App Review Team has informed Parler as of April 14, 2021 that its proposed updated app will be approved for reinstatement to the App Store. Apple anticipates that the updated Parler app will become available immediately upon Parler releasing it."
Apple also noted in the letter that the company had not consulted with Amazon or Google regarding its original decision to ban Parler, in response to claims that the companies had put forth a coordinated effort to silence conservative members of the social media platform.
No information is available on changes to Parler's moderation policies, but the platform was not in compliance with Apple's guidelines earlier this year. At that time, Parler allowed user profile pictures containing white nationalist imagery and swastikas, while also permitting posts and user names that were deemed racist, homophobic and misogynistic.
TechZone360 Contributing Editor
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