Social media has been full of controversy for the past few days. Donald Trump was finally suspended from Twitter by his supporters after the storming of the US Capitol. Now a new app has come under fire, the so-called “Free Speech” App Parler. Parler was popular with those banned from Twitter, including Mr Trump’s supporters, but is now facing bans from the top app stores – Google Play and Apple.
Google banned a relatively new social media site, Parler, which had become popular on Twitter bans.
In a statement, Google said: “In order for us to distribute an app on Google Play, apps must implement robust moderation for massive content.
“With this ongoing and urgent threat to public safety, we are suspending the app’s listings on the Play Store until these issues are resolved.”
This comes after Mr Trump was permanently suspended from his favorite social media platform, Twitter, banning him from his nearly 89 million followers and 59,558 posts.
Mr Trump had received a 12-hour ban before it was finally removed “because of the risk of further incitement to violence,” the app said.
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In a letter from the Apple App Store Review Team to Parler, Apple quoted participants in the mob that stormed the US Capitol building on Wednesday.
Apple said in the letter, “Content intended to endanger the welfare of others or to induce violence or other lawless acts was never acceptable on the App Store.”
Apple gave Parler 24 hours to “remove all objectionable content from your app … and any content related to personal injury or attacks on government facilities now or in the future”.
The company also asked Parler to submit a written plan “to moderate and filter this content” from the app.
Parler chief executive John Matze said in a post Friday that Apple is applying standards to Parler that do not apply to themselves.
Parler members include commentator Candace Owens, Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, and right-wing activist Laura Loomer, who tied herself to the door of Twitter’s New York office in November 2018 to protest a ban on the site.
In November, conservative activist Rebekah Mercer confirmed that she and her family, which includes her father and hedge fund investor Robert Mercer, had sponsored Parler.
Mr. Matze said, “Apparently they believe Parler is responsible for ALL user-generated content on Parler. Therefore, following the same logic, Apple must be responsible for ALL actions taken by their phones.
“Apple must also be responsible for every car bomb, every illegal cell phone call, every illegal crime on an iPhone.
“Standards that don’t apply to Twitter, Facebook, or even Apple itself apply to Parler.”