Apple CEO Tim Cook
Spencer Platt Getty images
Apple removed Parler, an app popular among Trump supporters, from its iPhone App Store on Saturday.
Apple said posts on the pro-Trump social network related to the Capitol riot in the United States last week included calls for violence that violated Apple’s rules against spam.
“We have always supported the various points of view presented in the App Store, but there is no room on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity,”
Google removed Parler from its Android app store, Google Play, on Friday.
The removal of the application comes after the violence in the US Capitol by Trump supporters on Wednesday, in which five people died. Violence has renewed calls for social media and technology companies to better facilitate their platforms, especially when it comes to calls for incitement to violence.
Twitter permanently banned President Donald Trump’s personal account on Friday because it thought Trump’s latest tweets were inciting violence, while Facebook prevented Trump from posting through the inauguration later this month.
Parler launched in 2018 and appeared earlier this year as a pro-Trump alternative to Twitter with less content moderation. “We are a community square in the community, an open city square, uncensored,” Parler CEO John Matze said in June. “If you can say it on the streets of New York, you can tell it to Parler.”
Parler remains accessible through a web browser that Apple has already identified as a way to reach iPhone users without requiring Apple approval.
Apple has not faced the same challenges of moderating content as companies such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. It does not work with many platforms where users post or trade posts.
But Apple controls its App Store, which is the only way to install iPhone apps. Apple regularly removes apps for violating its long guidelines and has previously banned apps popular with right-wing users, including the Infowars app in 2018, and before that Qdrops, an app related to Qanon’s conspiracy theory.
In a statement sent to Parler on Saturday, Apple said the social media app failed to moderate and remove content that promotes illegal activity, citing two Apple guidelines, one banning unwanted content and the other requiring apps with generated from users content to filter out potentially harmful posts.
“Parler has not reaffirmed its commitment to moderate and remove harmful or dangerous content that promotes violence and illegal activity, and does not comply with the App Store’s review guidelines,” Apple said in a statement.
An earlier message from Apple, sent on Friday, reported by Buzzfeed and posted in part by Parler’s CEO on his account, quoted a tweet from the Sleeping Giants activist group with screenshots of the Parler app, including one in which a user invited his followers to attend. the inauguration “carrying our weapons”. Apple has given Parler 24 hours to add content moderation to its app, or Apple will remove it.
Parler did not immediately return a request for comment on Friday. “Everyone who buys an Apple phone is obviously a consumer. Obviously, he knows what’s best for you by telling you which apps you can and shouldn’t use,” Matze, its CEO, said in a Parler post.