Conservative “free speech” social media network Parler has now been allowed back on Apple’s App Store, after instituting various new content policies that would limit speech on the site.
In a letter to Senator Mike Lee and Representative Ken Buck, Apple revealed that Parler, the social media network that purported to be a place where conservatives and others could speak freely, would be allowed back onto its App Store, after being kicked off following the mostly peaceful protests at Capitol Hill on January 6th.
Apple booted Parler off the App Store for various content policy violations, the Big Tech giant had claimed, including allegedly allowing posts that “encourgaed violence, denigrated various ethnic groups… and called for violence against specific people.” Since then, Apple has said that they and the Parler team have “engaged in substantial conversations,” resulting in Parler proposing “updates to its and the app’s content moderation practices,” which Apple have declared to be sufficient enough to be allowed back on the App Store. As soon as the update goes live, it will be “available immediately” to redownload.
On March 31, @SenMikeLee and I sent a letter demanding answers about why Apple removed Parler from the App Store.
🚨Today, we received a response: Parler will be reinstated on the App Store. Huge win for free speech. pic.twitter.com/FQBDSSSFGk
— Congressman Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) April 19, 2021
Representative Buck hailed this move as a “huge win for free speech,” rather than Parler kow-towing to the demands of Big Tech, as others have suggested. “Oligarch-owned Parler fired their free speech CEO and founder John Matze, integrated third-party artificial intelligence moderation software to ban “hate speech,” bent the knee to Big Tech, and got rewarded by CNN with glowing press,” wrote Gab’s Andrew Torba in a post on the pro-free speech social network. “Gab’s entire Apple Developer Account has been banned for years,” he added. “What more do you need to know?”
It is unclear at this moment in time what exactly these new proposals include, but some changes were already made to the desktop version in order to satisfy Parler’s new hosting company, after Amazon Web Services broke off their contract at the same time as Apple. The professed free speech platform now labels certain posts with a message that says “Trolling Content Detected.” According to Parler’s Guidelines Enforcement Process released on February 23, the “trolling” filter detects “personal attacks” based on race, sex, sexual orientation, or religion, which they say “doesn’t contribute to a productive conversation.”
John Matze, the co-founder and first CEO of Parler, was also fired by the site after being taken offline. Matze had hinted that he had met “constant resistance” for his “strong belief in free speech,” which co-owner and conservative commentator Dan Bongino dismissed as totally false. Bongino later revealed that he had stepped back from the day-to-day running of the company, and that he had never met and had no relationship with new interim CEO Mark Meckler, after National File revealed Meckler was involved with a project that could let George Soros re-write the Constitution.
Parler revealed last month that the site had informed the FBI of various posts regarding potential protests at Capitol Hill on January 6th. “Parler even alerted law enforcement to specific threats of violence being planned on the Capitol,” the letter sent to the House Oversight Committee reads, noting that the app had even opened “formal lines of communication” with the FBI beforehand.