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Parler returns to Apple App Store with new hate speech censorship

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 5/17/2021 Nihal Krishan
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Social media platform Parler returned to the Apple App Store Monday after implementing measures to censor hate speech on iPhones to meet the tech giant's content moderation standards.

The platform's interim CEO, Mark Meckler, a conservative activist, also announced his resignation on Monday, saying that his goal of getting Parler back up and running had been accomplished. Meckler will be replaced by George Farmer, who has been serving as chief operating officer of Parler since March.

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Parler, which is popular with conservatives and has billed itself as a free-speech alternative to Twitter and Facebook, is trying to attract a larger audience of users after it was banned by Apple, Google, and Amazon following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, which the tech companies said Parler helped encourage.

To return to the App Store, content labeled as "hate" by Parler's new artificial intelligence content moderation system won't show up on the iPhone app version of the platform. However, anyone who accesses Parler on the web or on other types of smartphones will still see speech deemed "hateful" by Apple, which is content that is threatening or abusive — most commonly based on race, religion, nationality, or sexual orientation.

"The entire Parler team has worked hard to address Apple's concerns without compromising our core mission," Meckler said in a statement emailed to the Washington Examiner.

"Anything allowed on the Parler network but not in the iOS app will remain accessible through our web-based and Android versions. This is a win-win for Parler, its users, and free speech," Meckler said.

Apple said it would allow Parler back on the App Store in April, after the platform had significantly improved its content moderation practices. Republicans in Congress had also put pressure on Apple to lift its ban on Parler, suggesting that the tech giant had treated the platform unfairly.

Meckler said he had completed what he set out to do for the company.

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"The work I came to accomplish at Parler has been successfully completed and I am now excited to turn the reins over to George Farmer, who will lead the fight as Parler continues its growing role as the premier platform in the world for free speech, data privacy and constructive dialogue," Meckler said in a statement. He will now return to his role as president of the Convention of States, a conservative political advocacy organization.

Tags: News, Policy, Parler, Social Media, Censorship, Apple

Original Author: Nihal Krishan

Original Location: Parler returns to Apple App Store with new hate speech censorship

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