Consumers are turning to small conservative social media platforms following President Donald Trump’s ban on the world’s largest social networks, even though those platforms see access limited by the application markets of the biggest technology players.
The social network, Parler, a network that mimics Twitter, is now the number one app in Apple’s app store, and Gab, another service backed by conservative art, says it sees an explosion in the number of registrations on its web-based platform well. .
Parler’s balloon customer base comes at a potentially dangerous time for the company. It has already been removed from Google The Play Store and Apple are also considering shutting down the social media app if they don’t add some content moderation features.
Both Parler and Gab have declared themselves a haven for free speech, with what is perhaps the most loose moderation of online content. In the past, the two companies have left content published by an alleged Russian disinformation campaign and allowed users to visit conspiracy theories that other social media platforms have shut down.
Expectations with these services are that platform users are responsible for jamming and blocking trolls or offensive content, but inherently those who join these platforms will usually find themselves among like-minded people.
The number of their users may increase, but potential adopters may soon find it difficult to find the services.
On Friday night, Google said it would remove Parler from the Play Store immediately – shutting down the app while developers commit to a moderation and implementation policy that can handle unwanted content on the platform.
In a statement to TechCrunch, a Google spokesman said:
“To protect the safety of users on Google Play, our long-standing policy requires that applications that display user-generated content have moderation and implementation rules that remove harsh content such as violent posts. All developers agree to these terms and we have reminded Parler of this clear policy in recent months. We are aware of the ongoing publication in the Parler application, which seeks to incite ongoing violence in the United States. We recognize that there may be a reasonable debate about content policies and that it may be difficult for apps to remove all infringing content immediately, but in order to distribute an app through Google Play, we require apps to apply robust moderation to delightful content. In light of this ongoing and urgent threat to public safety, we are stopping the Play Store app lists until we address these issues. “
On Friday, Buzzfeed News reported that Parler had received a letter from Apple informing them that the app would be removed from the App Store within 24 hours, unless the company submitted an update with a plan to improve moderation. Parler CEO John Matze confirmed Apple’s action in a post on his Parler account, where he posted a screenshot of the notice from Apple.
“We want to be aware that Parler is in fact responsible for all content generated by users present in your service, and that this content meets the requirements of the App Store for the safety and security of our users,” reads a screen text. photo. “We will not distribute applications that are dangerous or harmful content.
Parler is backed by billionaire conservative heiress Rebecca Mercer, according to a November report in The Wall Street Journal. Founded in 2018, the service is experiencing leaps in consumer acceptance in every clash between more social media companies and outgoing President Trump. In November, Parler boasted about 10 million users, according to the Journal.
Users such as Fox Business presenter Maria Bartiromo and conservative talk show host Dan Bongino, a hugely popular Facebook figure who is also an investor in Parler, have joined the platform. In the magazine’s article, Bongino called the company a “collective middle finger to technological tyrants.”
It is worth noting that Parler and Gab are not the only companies to see the number of consumers rising after Trump’s bans. According to analytics company Apptopia MeWe Network, OANN, Newsmax and Rumble have also increased with admission.
The company noted that Parler is a приложение1 app in the iOS app store for two days, rising from 18th on Thursday and 592 on Wednesday. Overall, the app was the tenth most downloaded social media app in 2020 with 8.1 million new installations.
“However, this is an event-driven application,” said a company analyst. “After events like the election, BLM protested, Twitter we first apply tags to Trump’s tweets, see outbursts of downloads and usage, but then they will go away. “
Sarah Perez and Lucas Matney have contributed further to this article.