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Parler, suspended by Google Play, Apple issues 24-hour warning for Capitol violence

Google’s Alphabet on Friday shut down Parler’s social networking service from its app store, citing violent posts and demanding “stable” moderation of the app’s content, favored by many supporters of US President Donald Trump.

Apple also gave the service 24 Hours on Friday to present a detailed moderation plan, indicating participants using the service to coordinate Wednesday’s siege of the U.S. Capitol building.

The actions of the two Silicon Valley companies mean that the network, seen as a refuge for people evicted from Twitter, could become inaccessible for new downloads in major mobile phone stores around the world within a day. It will still be available in mobile browsers.

Social media users in the United States have turned to Parler, the Telegram messaging app and the social site Gab, citing more aggressive political commentary on major platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Twitter finally shut down President Trump̵

7;s account on Friday.

In shutting down the service, Google, whose software runs Android phones, cited its policy against anti-violence apps and gave recent examples from Parler, including a post on Friday that began “How to get our country back? About 20 or More Coordinated Visits “and another promoting the” March of Millions of Militias “in Washington.

Parler CEO John Matze said in a statement Friday that Apple applies standards to Parler that it does not apply to itself.

In a statement, Google said that “in order to distribute an application through Google Play, we require applications to apply robust moderation of admirable content. In light of this ongoing and urgent threat to public safety, we are stopping the Play Store app lists until it addresses these issues. “

In a letter from Apple’s App Store review team to Parler, seen by Reuters, Apple quoted participants in the crowd storming the US Capitol building on Wednesday.

“Content that threatens the well-being of others or is intended to incite violence or other illegal acts has never been acceptable in the App Store,” the letter from Apple said.

Apple has given Parler 24 hours to “remove all unwanted content from your application … as well as any content relating to human harm or attacks on government facilities now or at any future date.” The company also asked Parler to provide a written plan “to moderate and filter this content” from the app.

Apple declined to comment.

Matze, who describes himself as a libertarian, founded Parler in 2018 as an alternative to “free speech” on major platforms, but began courting right-wing users as prominent Trump supporters moved there.

Those who joined were commentator Candace Owens, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani and right-wing activist Laura Lower, who was handcuffed to the door of Twitter’s New York office in November 2018 to protest her ban. site. In November, Conservative activist Rebecca Mercer confirmed that she and her family, including her father and hedge fund investor Robert Mercer, had secured funding for Parler.

“Obviously, they believe that Parler is responsible for ALL user-generated content in Parler,” Matze said. “Therefore (sic) by the same logic, Apple must be held accountable for ALL actions taken by their phones. Every bomb, every illegal cell phone call, every illegal crime committed on the iPhone, Apple must also be held accountable,” writes he. “Standards that do not apply to Twitter, Facebook or even Apple itself apply to Parler.”

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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