Controversial free-speech app Parler has been denied its request to rejoin the App Store. Apple banned the social network app after law enforcement learned that the attack on the US Capitol on January 6 had been planned on the social network. The rioters also posted photos and videos of the chaos on Parler as it was happening.
Parler is advertised as a social connectivity and community building app which can be used to explore news, sports, converse with others, and more. However, the platform is mostly used by conservatives or people with radical opinions.
Apple denies Parler appeal to rejoin App Store due to ‘highly objectionable content’
Following the attack on the U.S. Capitol, the Cupertino tech giant pulled the app from the App Store. At the time, Apple said Parler could return to its platform if it complied with Apple’s requested moderation improvement plan within 24 hours. The company did not cooperate and as a consequence, the app was removed from the App Store as Apple had threatened.
Following the app’s removal from the App Store, it went completely offline. As it came back online, the app changed its community guidelines to new policies written by Chief Policy Officer Amy Peikoff. However, as reported by Bloomberg, an App Store review found that the updated policies did not comply with Apple’s rules.
“After having reviewed the new information, we do not believe these changes are sufficient to comply with App Store Review guidelines. There is no place for hateful, racist, discriminatory content on the App Store,” Apple wrote to Parler on February 25.
According to the report, Apple included several screenshots in its rejection to Parler, some of which showed “user profile pictures with swastikas and other white nationalist imagery, and user names and posts that are misogynistic, homophobic and racist.” The report continues:
“In fact, 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 wrote “For these reasons your app cannot be returned to the App Store for distribution until it complies with the guidelines.”
Bloomberg says that following the rejection letter, Parlet let go of its remaining three iOS developers, suggesting they may have given up on trying to return to Apple’s platform. However, in a statement to The Verge, the company said:
“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 expects and hopes to keep working with Apple to return to the App Store.”