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Google suspends Parler social networking app from Play Store; Apple gives 24-hour warning

TechnologyJan 09, 2021 02:00AM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Apple Inc logo is seen hanging at the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in New York 2/2

By Elizabeth Culliford and Stephen Nellis

(Reuters) - Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc's Google on Friday suspended the Parler social networking service from its app store, citing posts inciting violence and demanding “robust” content moderation from the app favored by many supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) on Friday also gave the service 24 hours to submit a detailed moderation plan, pointing to participants using the service to coordinate Wednesday's siege of the U.S. Capitol building.

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. It would still be available in mobile browsers.

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 (NYSE:TWTR) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). Twitter permanently suspended President Trump's account on Friday.

In suspending the service, Google, whose software powers Android phones, cited its policy against apps that promote violence and gave recent examples from Parler, including a Friday post that began "How do we take back our country? About 20 or so coordinated hits" and another promoting a "Million Militia March" on Washington.

Parler Chief Executive John Matze said in a post on Friday that Apple was applying standards to Parler that it did not apply to itself.

In a statement, Google said that "for us to distribute an app through Google Play, we do require that apps implement robust moderation for egregious content. In light of this ongoing and urgent public safety threat, we are suspending the app’s listings from the Play Store until it addresses these issues."

In a letter from Apple's App Store review team to Parler seen by Reuters, Apple cited participants of the mob storming the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday.

"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.

Apple gave Parler 24 hours to "remove all objectionable content from your app ... as well as any content referring to harm to people or attacks on government facilities now or at any future date." The company also demanded that Parler submit a written plan "to moderate and filter this content" from the app.

Apple declined to comment.

Matze, who describes himself as 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.

Those who have joined include commentator Candace Owens, Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and right-wing activist Laura Loomer, who handcuffed herself to the door of Twitter's New York office in Nov. 2018 to protest a ban on her by the site. In November, conservative activist Rebekah Mercer confirmed that the she and her family, which includes her father and hedge-fund investor Robert Mercer, have provided funding to Parler.

"Apparently they believe Parler is responsible for ALL user generated content on Parler," Matze said. "Therefor (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. "Standards not applied to Twitter, Facebook or even Apple themselves, apply to Parler."

(This story corrects suspected to suspended in paragraph 4.)

 

Google suspends Parler social networking app from Play Store; Apple gives 24-hour warning
 

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Comments (13)
Ross Honeycutt
Ross Honeycutt Jan 09, 2021 6:42PM ET
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I did *******that coming
Ross Honeycutt
Ross Honeycutt Jan 09, 2021 6:42PM ET
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I did natzi that coming
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Jan 09, 2021 3:24PM ET
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Twitter/Facebook/Apple are communists working for the New World Order
Yelen Shim
Yelen Shim Jan 09, 2021 6:57AM ET
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hahaha
Shakil Zaman
Shakil Zaman Jan 09, 2021 6:47AM ET
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What are you gonna when the crazy people move to the dark web? Then you'll lose the track of them.....
Henrik Lindberg
Henrik Jan 09, 2021 3:01AM ET
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This is so insane, "if you don't think like us you should not think at all"
Kings Wales
Kings Wales Jan 09, 2021 2:28AM ET
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Thats the blue wave for you. pure dictatorship.
Rodolfo Barraco
Rodolfo Barraco Jan 09, 2021 12:59AM ET
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Stablishlent dictatorship. Dangerous monopoly. RIP free world. Democrats used to defend free speech. Where are you democrats? Suporting chinese style censorship? Shame on you
Ruben CH
Ruben CH Jan 09, 2021 12:55AM ET
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WTH is going in the land of the free! Unbelievable.
Pilot TwoFive
Pilot TwoFive Jan 08, 2021 11:35PM ET
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Well, talk about adding fuel to the fire.  Where were they when the Marxist hate group BLM was rioting across the country.  The second civil war is going to be ugly.
Michael mohr
Michael mohr Jan 08, 2021 11:04PM ET
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The Beast is trying to muzzle the light.
Ray Brown
Ray Brown Jan 08, 2021 10:33PM ET
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What? "How do we take back our country?", is what exactly? A question playing Risk? Seriously!
Sam Donald
Sam Donald Jan 08, 2021 10:33PM ET
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you don't own any country. you don't even own the house you live in
Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez Jan 08, 2021 9:55PM ET
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we'll all be speaking CHINESE soon. Biden in Made in China!
Samui Lo
Samui Lo Jan 08, 2021 9:55PM ET
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Biden isn't president yet MAGA lackey. And btw Donaldo owes state owned Bank of China tens of millions and they lease parts of Trump's tower which goes directly in his pocket. You Trumpcuks keep repeating Biden Biden nonsense how about you take a look at your jestering orange idol?
Nison Kay
Nison Kay Jan 08, 2021 7:18PM ET
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typical nåzzzsiiiiï left monopolizing on everything
Dewayne Samuels
Dewayne Samuels Jan 08, 2021 7:18PM ET
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silicone valley watch what you are bringing onto yourself!!
 
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