“Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety,” Apple says
Parler, a social media app with a large base of Trump supporters, has been suspended by Apple’s App Store for not taking “adequate measures” to address “threats of violence and illegal activity” in the wake of Wednesday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol, Apple said in a statement Saturday.
“We have always supported diverse points of view being represented on the App Store, but there is no place on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity,” the statement reads. “Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety. We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues.”
On Friday, BuzzFeed News reported that Apple had threatened to permanently ban Parler from the App Store unless it created a “moderation improvement plan” within 24 hours of receiving Apple’s warning.
“We have received numerous complaints regarding objectionable content in your Parler service, accusations that the Parler app was used to plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal activities in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021 that led (among other things) to loss of life, numerous injuries, and the destruction of property,” Apple wrote in a letter to Parler, according to BuzzFeed News. “The app also appears to continue to be used to plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities.”
Apple’s App Review Board sent a letter to the Parler development team Saturday, which was obtained by TheWrap, saying it had “determined that the measures you describe are inadequate to address the proliferation of dangerous and objectionable content on your app.”
Representatives for Parler did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on the app’s suspension from Apple’s App Store Saturday, which came one day after Parler was suspended by the Google Play store for lack of moderation on “egregious content.”
“Parler has not upheld its commitment to moderate and remove harmful or dangerous content encouraging violence and illegal activity, and is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines,” Apple wrote in its communication to the Parler team.
“In your response, you referenced that Parler has been taking this content ‘very seriously for weeks.’ However, the processes Parler has put in place to moderate or prevent the spread of dangerous and illegal content have proved insufficient,” the letter continued. “Specifically, we have continued to find direct threats of violence and calls to incite lawless action in violation of Guideline 1.1 – Safety – Objectionable Content. Your response also references a moderation plan ‘for the time being,’ which does not meet the ongoing requirements in Guideline 1.2 – Safety – User Generated content.”
“While there is no perfect system to prevent all dangerous or hateful user content, apps are required to have robust content moderation plans in place to proactively and effectively address these issues. A temporary ‘task force’ is not a sufficient response given the widespread proliferation of harmful content. For these reasons, your app will be removed from the App Store until we receive an update that is compliant with the App Store Review Guidelines and you have demonstrated your ability to effectively moderate and filter the dangerous and harmful content on your service.”
Before Parler was suspended by Apple Saturday, it was the No. 1 app in the App Store, according to mobile app analytics company Sensor Tower, having risen from the No. 11 spot yesterday — the day Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump’s personal account.
Parler, which was launched in 2018, has a very large user base of Trump supporters, many of whom have been banned from other social platforms. It frequently contains far-right content and conspiracy theories.
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