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Apple suspends Parler from its app store

The Hill logo The Hill 1/10/2021 Jordan Williams
a screen shot of an open laptop computer sitting on top of a table: Apple suspends Parler from its app store © Getty Images Apple suspends Parler from its app store

Apple has suspended the social media platform Parler from the App Store for what it deems the company's lack of moderation of threats of violence.

"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," Apple said in a statement to The Hill.

"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."

The suspension comes after the company was warned about tightening its moderation rules on harmful content after a breach of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of President Trump's supporters Wednesday that left five dead and dozens more under arrest.

BuzzFeed News reported on Friday that Apple had warned of "numerous complaints regarding objectionable content" on the platform, and accusations that it was "used to plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal activities in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021."

However, in a communication sent to Parler on Saturday that was shared with The Hill, the tech giant said it 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."

Video: Rep. Cawthorn: Big tech censorship of conservatives sets 'dangerous precedent,' 'trust-busting' needed (FOX News)

Apple further said "the processes Parler has put in place to moderate or prevent the spread of dangerous and illegal content have proved insufficient. Specifically, we have continued to find direct threats of violence and calls to incite lawless action."

The tech giant said Parler will be suspended until it demonstrates an ability to "effectively moderate and filter" the potentially harmful content on the platform.

The Hill has reached out to Parler for comment.

Parler became a popular social media platform for conservative users and users on the far right since the 2020 election due to its lax moderation rules, branding itself as pro-free speech. The site often contains posts with election misinformation that would be labeled or flagged on Twitter and Facebook.

The site was filled with numerous posts about the violent riot at the Capitol on Wednesday. In addition, accounts related to the QAnon conspiracy theory were spreading violent content about the riot, according to Advance Democracy, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that conducts public-interest research & investigations.

Google similarly suspended Parler from Google Play in wake of the riot, due to "continued posting" in the app that "seeks to incite ongoing violence in the U.S."

Updated 9:06 p.m.


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