Events of the last few days will remain unforgettable in the political history of the US. It was the week that virtually every major social media company either permanently or temporarily suspended accounts belonging to Donald Trump. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the likes all took drastic actions against the outgoing US president. This is all related to the Capitol Hill invasion during the course of the week. On the heels of Google’s ban on the Parler app from the Play Store, Apple has announced similar action.
Apparently the owners of the Parler app did not do enough to introduce new content moderation policies as requested by Apple. The Parler app has now been officially removed from the App Store; and no new downloads will be allowed.
Apple in a statement per 9to5mac said:
“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. 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.”
Apple’s decision to ban Parley is not final though, the app could still be allowed back to the App Store if certain measures as spelt out in Apple’s communication to the developers of the app.
“Your response also references a moderation plan “for the time being,” which does not meet the ongoing requirements in Guideline 1.2 – Safety – User Generated content. While there is no perfect system to prevent all dangerous or hateful user content, apps are required to have robust content moderation plans in place to proactively and effectively address these issues. A temporary “task force” is not a sufficient response given the widespread proliferation of harmful content.
“For these reasons, your app will be removed from the App Store until we receive an update that is compliant with the App Store Review Guidelines and you have demonstrated your ability to effectively moderate and filter the dangerous and harmful content on your service.”
Parler was also removed from the Play Store during the course of the week. The implication of this is that no new downloads will be allowed while the removal exist. That said, those who already have the app installed on their Android devices will continue to have access to it, while new updates may not be allowed.
Amazon has taken almost similar action against Parler—the service has been taken off its web hosting service. It means Parler will not be available on the web until it finds a new host.