Google boots Parler from app store, and Apple might follow

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(Pocket-lint) – Google has suspended Parler from its Google Play Store. It is a popular social app among supporters of President Donald Trump.

The decision to boot Parler came Friday, two days after a pro-Trump mob stormed the US Capitol Building. It also followed Twitter’s decision Friday to permanently ban President Trump’s account over the risk of further violence.

Although it’s no longer on Play Store, Parler will not be removed from users’ phones, and it’s available to install from other Android app stores.

In a statement to the media, Google said it aims to protect user safety:

“Our longstanding policies require that apps displaying user-generated content have moderation policies and enforcement that removes egregious content like posts that incite violence. All developers agree to these terms and we have reminded Parler of this clear policy in recent months. We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the US.”

Google also said it recognises there can be a debate about content policies, and it’s difficult for apps to immediately remove all violative content, but it still thinks apps should 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,” Google said.

In the past week, many have called for both Google and Apple to ban Parler. It’s not only used by President Trump’s most fanatic supporters but also extremists, white supremacists, and far-right conservatives. There are wide-spread concerns that recent content shared on the platform played a role in organising and inflaming the recent Capitol riot that left five dead including a police officer.

Buzzfeed News reported Friday that Apple has also contacted the social network, threatening to ban Parler unless it comes up with a “full moderation plan”. It has 24 hours to comply. Apple has yet to comment publicly on the matter.

For more about the insurrection at the Capitol Wednesday as well as the President’s permanent ban from Twitter Friday, see our guide here.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.





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