Following the events that occurred on Wednesday at the Capitol building with radical Trump supporters and the former president finally being suspended from Twitter, it looks as though Google and Apple are taking steps to remove Parler– a hotspot for far-right extremists and Trump's followers– from its app store.
Apple has issued a warning to the app that it must implement a full moderation plan to its platform within the next 24 hours or be removed from the App store for good, as cited by Buzzfeed News.
"We have received numerous complaints regarding objectionable content in your Parler service, accusations that the Parler app was used to plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal activities in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021 that led (among other things) to loss of life, numerous injuries, and the destruction of property,” Apple wrote to Parler in an email obtained by Buzzfeed this morning. “The app also appears to continue to be used to plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities.
Google has already made the decision to nix the app, however, according to CNBC News. The company reportedly issued a statement explaining the move, reminding that their guidelines require social media apps to have content moderation policies that remove posts inciting violence. They've found that Parler was being used as a grounds to encourage and even facilitate some of the Capitol Hill violence, and thus, removed it.
In response, Parler CEO John Matze wrote in the app that they will not "cave to pressure from anti-competitive actors."
“We will not cave to pressure from anti-competitive actors! We will and always have enforced our rules against violence and illegal activity. But we WONT cave to politically motivated companies and those authoritarians who hate free speech!” he wrote in a message.
Matze went on to say that: "Anyone who buys an Apple phone is apparently a user. Apperently they know what is best for you by telling you which apps you may and may not use."
It is still unclear whether Parler will go through with the changes, but based on the moves Twitter has been making following Wednesday's events, it wouldn't be surprising if Apple followed suit here.