Apple Suspends Parler From App Store -- Update
By Tim Higgins and Keach Hagey
* Amazon Suspends Parler Over Terms of Service Violation
*Amazon Says Parler Posts Inciting Violence Represent Terms of
*Amazon Says Parler's Lack of Content Moderation Poses 'Very
Real Risk to Public Safety'
*Amazon Says Parler Account to Be Suspended Sunday at 11:59 PM
*Amazon Says It Will Preserve Parler Data for The Company To
Migrate to Own Servers
(Article below will update)
Apple Inc. has suspended Parler from the App Store amid concerns
the app's owner hasn't done enough to address threats of violence
on the platform.
"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 Saturday. "Parler has not taken adequate measures to
address the proliferation of these threats to people's safety."
The App Store is the only means to download mobile apps on Apple
devices, and Parler's removal means the app can't be downloaded on
devices where it isn't already present or updated on devices where
it is. Apple's move comes a day after Alphabet Inc.'s Google
suspended Parler from its Play Store app marketplace, citing
violations of requirements for sufficient moderation of content for
apps it distributes.
Interest in Parler has risen since the November U.S. elections
as larger social-network operators such as Facebook Inc. and
Twitter Inc. have become more aggressive in policing content. On
Friday, Twitter banned President Trump's personal account, sparking
criticism from conservatives online who felt the effort was biased
Parler has positioned itself as an alternative to larger
platforms. Its rules don't prohibit hate speech and false
information while banning spam, threats of violence and other
illegal activity. Chief Executive John Matze had said he believed
the company's rules met Apple's policies against content that
Before Saturday, the iPhone maker had given Parler 24 hours to
submit a plan to improve the app, which it said wasn't effectively
moderating and removing content that encouraged illegal activity
and posed a risk to user safety.
Jeffrey Wernick, chief operating officer of Parler, said the
company presented Apple with a plan to strengthen its moderating
capabilities, but Apple ultimately said those were
Parler had told Apple in recent meetings that it had doubled its
team of volunteer moderators -- called "jurors" -- to more than a
thousand in the last few days and instructed them to search "hot"
hashtags for incitement, a more proactive approach than Parler had
used previously, Mr. Wernick said.
The company also had instructed its jurors to hunt down any
content suggesting violence within the comment sections of its more
highly trafficked sections and planned to hire employees to bolster
these efforts, according to Amy Peikoff, Parler's chief policy
Apple told Parler that the company had to demonstrate the
"ability to effectively moderate and filter the dangerous and
harmful content" on the service, according to the latest app
The decision comes as big tech companies are under scrutiny in
Washington for the power they hold over their digital worlds. Apple
has been accused by some lawmakers of anticompetitive behavior in
how it operates its App Store. Apple has denied such claims.
On Saturday, Mr. Matze leaned into such criticism in a post on
Parler, calling Apple a monopoly that "provides no alternatives to
installing apps on your phone other than their store."
Parler experienced a huge surge of interest on Friday, the day
Apple and Google made moves to limit its reach, driving it to the
top spot on Apple's App Store. Mr. Wernick said this surge in
traffic overloaded the company's servers and made it impossible for
them to respond to alerts about problematic content fast
"They picked a time yesterday when we had a huge spurt and gave
us no time to adequately respond to this," Mr. Wernick said. "At
this point, it seems like bad faith to me."
Write to Tim Higgins at Tim.Higgins@WSJ.com and Keach Hagey at
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 09, 2021 22:10 ET (03:10 GMT)
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