Google pulls Parler for instigating US Capitol riots, Apple to follow2 min read . Updated: 09 Jan 2021, 08:40 AM IST
Google removed Parler from its Play Store, and Apple threatened a similar action after the social-media service was among those used to organize the riots this week at the Capitol in Washington. Parler Chief Executive John Matze, meanwhile, alleges that standards set for them don't apply to others.
Alphabet Inc.’s Google has removed Parler app from its Play Store as it alleges the social-media service was among those used to organize the riots this week at the Capitol in Washington.
Parler Chief Executive John Matze, meanwhile, alleges that standards not applied to Twitter, Facebook or even Apple themselves, apply to Parler.
A Google statement said, “We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the U.S."
“We recognize that there can be reasonable debate about content policies and that it can be difficult for apps to immediately remove all violative content, but for us to distribute an app through Google Play, we do require that apps implement robust moderation for egregious content," it further added.
Alphabet Inc.’s Google said Parler will be suspended until it addresses this “ongoing and urgent public safety threat." The internet giant said it has reminded Parler of these policies for months.
Meanwhile, in a letter to the developers of Parler, Apple said it will pull the app in 24 hours if it does not get a plan to moderate the service more.
"Content that threatens the well-being of others or is intended to incite violence or other lawless acts has never been acceptable on the App Store," Apple said in the letter.
“You must respond to this message with detailed information about how you intend to moderate and filter this content from your app, and what you will do to improve moderation and content filtering," Apple wrote.
On its App Store page, Parler describes itself as a “non-biased, free speech social media focused on protecting user’s rights." The service has gained popularity with extremists as Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. have cracked down on users who promote violence. Parler is ranked 18th among free apps on Apple’s App Store over the last 90 days, according to Apptopia data.
The actions by the two Silicon Valley companies mean that the network seen as a haven for people expelled from Twitter could become unavailable for new downloads on the world's main mobile phone app stores within a day.
Google said the Parler app will not be removed from the phones of users who already downloaded it. The suspension also doesn’t limit the app’s availability on other Android app stores.
Right-leaning social media users in the United States have flocked to Parler, messaging app Telegram and hands-off social site Gab, citing the more aggressive policing of political comments on mainstream platforms such as Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc. Twitter permanently suspected President Trump's account on Friday.
Parler Founder attacks Apple
Matze said in a post on Friday that Apple was applying standards to Parler that it did not apply to itself.
Matze, who describes himself as a libertarian, founded Parler in 2018 as a "free-speech driven" alternative to mainstream platforms but began courting right-leaning users as prominent supporters of Trump moved there.
"Apparently they believe Parler is responsible for ALL user generated content on Parler," Matze said. "Therefore (sic) by the same logic, Apple must be responsible for ALL actions taken by their phones. Every car bomb, every illegal cell phone conversation, every illegal crime committed on an iPhone, Apple must also be responsible for," he wrote.
(With inputs from agencies)