After being removed last year by Apple over radical content, Parler is coming back to the App Store with the tech giant’s approval. Before the removal, Apple gave the developer an ultimatum to either regulate the service via a moderation plan within the next day or be removed from the App Store.
Parler is a social connectivity and community building app which is used to engage with official statements, carry out conversations with other members, explore news, politics, sports, and entertainment, share pictures and videos, and more. However, the app is mostly used by conservatives and people with radical opinions, some of which were involved in the January 6, Capitol Hill attack and vandalism.
Parler returns to App Store after being removed last year
Parler had been attempting to find re-entry into the App Store once it was removed, but those efforts did not come to fruition. The developer submitted revised guidelines in February that were insufficient to comply with the App Store rules due to issues with violating content. A letter addressed to the app’s chief policy officer on February 25 read, “There is no place for hateful, racist, discriminatory content on the App Store.”
Now, in a letter to Senator Mike Lee and Representative Ken Buck, obtained by CNN, the Cupertino tech giant says that Parler has improved the way it moderates content now, and the changes are “sufficient” for it to come back to App Store. The letter was signed by Timothy Powderly, Apple’s senior director of Government Affairs.
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.
The letter also mentions that the company did not consult with Amazon or Google in respect to its initial decision to remove the social media app. This is a response meant to put the false claims of a coordinated effort among tech giants to silence conservatives to rest. Apple says that it is now up to Parler to publish the app to users, which according to Apple will “become available immediately”.
On March 31, @SenMikeLee and I sent a letter demanding answers about why Apple removed Parler from the App Store.
🚨Today, we received a response: Parler will be reinstated on the App Store. Huge win for free speech. pic.twitter.com/FQBDSSSFGk
— Rep. Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) April 19, 2021
While removing the app last year, Apple stated that it would not be allowed back unless or until the App Store rules and regulations are completely met. And until the app has demonstrated its ability to “effectively moderate and filter the dangerous and harmful content on your service.”
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