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Apple App Store, Google Play suspend Parler

"We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the U.S.,” Google said in a statement.
Parler is a Twitter-like social media platform that for two years has been a minor destination for conservative politicians and media figures. Now, it's surging.Olivier Douliery / AFP via Getty Images

Apple's App Store joined Google Play on Saturday in suspending the social media platform Parler from their app marketplaces until the “Twitter for conservatives” adopts stricter content moderation following the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

"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. We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues."

In a letter to Parler, Apple's app review board said, "We have continued to find direct threats of violence and calls to incite lawless action" on the social media platform.

Parler, founded in 2018, has found traction among conservative users looking for alternatives to more mainstream apps like Facebook and Twitter, which moderate content more rigorously. Parler has banned users for trolling conservatives but doesn’t have a formal set of moderation policies.

“In order to protect user safety on Google Play, our longstanding policies require that apps displaying user-generated content have moderation policies and enforcement that removes egregious content like posts that incite violence,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement Friday.

“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 U.S.”

Google said the app will be suspended until it resolves the issues that violate Google’s policies, including allowing users to post threats to elected officials and plans to organize Wednesday's march that ended with the deadly incursion into the Capitol.

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The suspension doesn’t impact Parler’s availability on the web or other Android app stores. It also won’t be automatically removed from users phones.

The moves by Apple and Google follow actions by Twitter to ban several accounts, including permanently suspending Trump's personal account for potentially inciting violence.

Facebook and YouTube have also moderated content from the president’s accounts in recent days, and Facebook indefinitely banned the president on its main app and on Instagram for violating its policies