Apple puts Parler on notice: Moderate or disappear

By

Parler was founded by free-speech advocates not likely to start moderating comments.
Parler was reportedly used to plan the attack on the US Capital. Now it could be out of the App Store.
Photo: Parler

Apple told Parler on Friday that it must either begin moderating “dangerous and harmful” comments posted by users or its application will be removed from the iPhone App Store. The free speech site popular with supporters of President Trump reportedly has until Saturday morning to come up with a “moderation improvement plan” or it’ll be removed.

The move comes because Parler has been accused of being used to plan the attack on the U.S. Capital on Wednesday.

Apple sent an email to the social-networking service this morning that was obtained by BuzzFeed. “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,” said Apple. The email also says, “We won’t distribute apps that present dangerous and harmful content.”

The email gave Parler a 24 hour deadline to make a plan to moderate posts or it’ll face expulsion.

Parler takes no responsibility

Parler was created as a free speech option, and is clearly not pleased with Apple’s decision. CEO John Matze reportedly posted on his site, “Apparently they [Apple] believe Parler is responsible for all user generated content on Parler.” He argues that this app is no more responsible for what users say than Apple is for the use of iPhones in criminal acts. Matze went on to say, “Standards not applied to Twitter, Facebook or even Apple themselves, apply to Parler.”

But Twitter and Facebook have moderation, as Apple is requesting Parler begin using. Many people turn to the service after being banned from rival social-networking sites for spreading hate speech, dangerous conspiracy theories or antisemitism. That includes Trump who has now been removed from Twitter and Facebook.

Update: Parler has already been banned from Google Play, the Android software store, according to CNN.