Google pulls Parler from Play Store for fostering calls to violence

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google has suspended Parler from the Play Store, as first reported by Politico reporter Cristiano Lima and New York Times reporter Jack Nicas. We’ve confirmed the app is no longer on the store.

Here is the full statement, which was shared with The Verge:

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. 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. We recognize that there can be reasonable debate about…

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Apple threatens to ban far-right social media platform Parler from its App Store amid complaints it was used to 'plan, coordinate, and facilitate' attempted insurrection (AAPL)

Summary List PlacementApple has issued a warning to the far-right social media site Parler over its alleged role in Wednesday’s attempted insurrection, saying it may remove the app from its App Store if Parler doesn’t implement a content moderation plan, BuzzFeed News reported Friday.
“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 told Parler, according to BuzzFeed News, adding: “The app also appears to continue to be used to plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities.”
Apple told Parler that it had 24 hours to implement a “requested moderation improvement plan” or the app would be pulled from the App Store.
Apple and Parler did not respond to requests for comment.
“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!” Parler CEO John Matze said in a post on the social media site, according to BuzzFeed News.
Parler has risen to prominence in recent months as mainstream social media sites have faced increasing pressure to crack down on hate speech, misinformation, and calls for violence.
Following the US presidential election in November, Trump supporters flocked to alternative social networks, including Parler, to plan election protests after Facebook and other sites banned groups that pushed debunked conspiracies. From November 3 to November 9, Parler was downloaded around 530,000 times in the US, according to data from Apptopia.
As a pro-Trump mob violently seized the US Capitol building on Wednesday in an attack that left five dead, the armed rioters used Parler and other conservative-leaning social media apps to organize. Apptopia told Business Insider that Parler downloads spiked to around 323% of their average weekly volume from October. 
“Hold your ground!!! Keep the ground you have gained. Do not relinquish what we have,” wrote one Parler user, who went by the handle “Immortal Noble Beard” and identified himself as a Proud Boy.
Many chimed in with posts tagged #revolution, #fightback, #firingsquad, and #civilwar. Others spread rumors that Antifa was behind the mob.
“Content of this dangerous and harmful nature is not appropriate for the App Store. As you know from prior conversations with App Review, Apple requires apps with user generated content to effectively moderate to ensure objectionable, potentially harmful content is filtered out,” Apple told Parler, according to BuzzFeed News, adding: “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.”Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why thoroughbred horse semen is the world’s most expensive liquid

Amazon is removing Parler from its web hosting service, meaning the platform will go offline Sunday if it can't find another host

Summary List PlacementAmazon is removing the fast-growing social media network Parler from its web hosting service, according to an email obtained by BuzzFeed News. Amazon confirmed the authenticity of the letter to Insider.
In the email, Amazon Web Services said Parler violated its terms of service due to an increase in violent content shared on the website. Amazon said it “cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others.”
“Because Parler cannot comply with our terms of service and poses a very real risk to public safety, we plan to suspend Parler’s account effective Sunday, January 10th, at 11:59PM PST,” the email said.
Unless Parler is able to find an alternative hosting platform, the website will go offline Sunday night.
Parler CEO John Matze confirmed Amazon’s decision in a post on the platform, saying its possible Parler will be offline for “up to a week.”
“We will try our best to move to a new provider right now as we have many competing for our business, however Amazon, Google and Apple purposefully did this as a coordinated effort knowing our options would be limited,” he said.
Google and Apple banned the Parler app from their app stores this week also for violating policies by failing to remove violent content.
Read more: Inside the rapid and mysterious rise of Parler, the ‘free speech’ Twitter alternative, which created a platform for conservatives by burning the Silicon Valley script
Parler did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Amazon’s decision came amid calls by some of its employees for the company to stop providing cloud services to Parler, after some right-wing extremists used the site to plan the deadly siege at the US Capitol earlier this week.
In the email obtained by BuzzFeed, Amazon said it does not think Parler’s plan to moderate violent content manually with volunteers will work.
“This is further demonstrated by the fact that you still have not taken down much of the content that we’ve sent you,” the email said.
BuzzFeed shared screenshots of violent content on Parler that was included in Amazon’s email.
In one Parler post that included a photo of lawmakers taking cover during the Capitol riots, the user wrote: “How bout make them hang?”
Another screenshot showed a post that said “we need to start systemically assassinating #liberal leaders,” among others.
Parler became popular in recent months among supporters of President Donald Trump and members of the far right due to its lack of moderation.
Top conservative figures recently announced they would be moving to the Parler app and encouraged others to do the same, after Trump was banned from Twitter on Friday.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How waste is dealt with on the world’s largest cruise ship

Apple suspends Parler from App Store

Apple confirmed that it has suspended the conservative social media app Parler from the App Store, shortly after Google banned it from Google Play. The app, which became a home to Trump supporters and several high-profile conservatives in the days leading up to the Capitol riots, had been operating in violation of Apple’s rules. The […]

After Parler’s troubles, Donald Trump Jr. wants Elon Musk to build a social network

After big tech firms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Twitch, and YouTube, banned Donald Trump, the outgoing president and his supporters flocked Parler, a social network favored by the alt-right. However, that network ran into all sorts of trouble because of content that can potentially incite violence. Amazon Web Services booted it off its cloud infrastructure, and Apple and Google removed the app from the App Store. Now that the social network and its CEO are offline for now, Trump supporters are looking for a new home. So in a bizarre move, Donald Trump Jr. has called for the world’s richest man,… This story continues at The Next Web

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