Apple won’t let Parler return to App Store unless it agrees to censor more speech
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March 12, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The latest changes to Parler’s content moderation practices still aren’t enough to allow the alternative social network to return to the Apple App Store, according to reports.
Apple, Google, and Amazon blacklisted Parler in January, with Amazon forcing the entire site to go down until it managed to arrange an alternative web-hosting solution to replace Amazon Web Services. The moves were based on the internet companies’ claims that Parler took insufficient action to remove user comments that supposedly contributed to the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill.
Parler’s website is now back up and running, with updated community guidelines, which the company says are “designed to enable productive, polite discourse among people with differing interests, life experiences, and viewpoints.” But The Verge reports that Apple has notified Parler that it still finds the guidelines lacking.
“Simple searches reveal highly objectionable content, including easily identified offensive uses of derogatory terms regarding race, religion and sexual orientation, as well as Nazi symbols,” Apple reportedly informed the company. “For these reasons your app cannot be returned to the App Store for distribution until it complies with the guidelines.”
“We have since engaged Apple to show them how we’ve incorporated a combination of algorithmic filters and human review to detect and remove content that threatens or incites violence,” Parler Chief Policy Office Amy Peikoff responded in a statement. “Parler expects and hopes to keep working with Apple to return to the App Store.”
The Verge adds that, despite its hopes of returning to the App Store, Parler is also apparently preparing for a post-Apple future by cutting ties with several iOS app developers it had previously worked with.
Apple users who already know or are interested in Parler can still access the social network on their iPhones or iPads via their preferred mobile web browser. But the blacklisting prevents potential newcomers from discovering it by browsing the App Store, and stigmatizes the service despite the fact that more mainstream platforms were used far more by the so-called Capitol Hill “insurrectionists.”
At The Federalist, Internet Accountability Project senior adviser Rachel Bovard notes that, of the 233 charging documents filed by the Department of Justice against alleged January 6 rioters, “73 reference posts on Facebook as evidence, 24 reference posts [on] YouTube, 20 single out Instagram posts (owned by Facebook), and only eight highlight posts on Parler.”