Google Pulls Parler as Apple Threatens the Same After Capitol Riot -- 4th Update
By Jeff Horwitz and Tim Higgins
Alphabet Inc.'s Google late Friday suspended Parler, a
free-speech focused social-media network favored by conservatives,
from its app store, and Apple Inc. threatened to do the same in the
wake of the U.S. Capitol riot.
Google said it acted because of "continued posting in the Parler
app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the U.S.," which
violated its requirements for sufficient moderation of egregious
content for apps it distributes. A company representative said
Parler would remain suspended until it addressed the issues "in
light of this ongoing and urgent public safety threat."
The suspension didn't affect Parler's availability on the
internet or in other Android app stores, Google said.
Apple told Parler it received complaints regarding objectionable
content on the service and accusations the app was used to plan,
coordinate and facilitate illegal activities, according to a notice
provided to The Wall Street Journal by John Matze, Parler's chief
The tech giant said in order for Parler to remain available in
the App Store, it had to provide detailed information about its
content-moderation plans and how it would improve moderation and
content filtering in the future. Apple set a deadline of 24 hours
for Parler's compliance.
Launched in 2018, Parler has billed itself as a free-speech
friendly and content-recommendation free alternative to larger
social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. It has exploded in
popularity in the run-up to and after the 2020 U.S. presidential
While Parler bans spam, threats of violence and other illegal
activity, its rules don't prohibit hate speech and false
Mr. Matze said Parler believes its existing rules against
incitements to violence meet Apple's standards. The company is
confident that "we can retain our values and make Apple happy
quickly," he said, adding that "coordinating riots, violence and
rebellions have no place on social media."
Nonetheless, Mr. Matze said, he was nervous "because the text in
their messaging was fairly confrontational." He blamed politically
motivated groups for unfairly targeting Parler. "They want to
eliminate free speech and their political opponents," he said.
The decisions on Parler come as Twitter Inc. on Friday
permanently suspended President Trump's personal account, an action
that was roundly panned by conservatives online who said the ban
illustrated bias against users such as Mr. Trump.
Apple and Google, operators of the world's two largest
mobile-app marketplaces, had faced pressure from some users and
entities including liberal activist group Sleeping Giants to remove
Parler from app marketplaces after the violence in Washington.
Write to Jeff Horwitz at Jeff.Horwitz@wsj.com and Tim Higgins at
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 09, 2021 00:00 ET (05:00 GMT)
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