Controversial social media app Parler to return to the Apple app store

Tech

This illustration picture shows social media application logo from Parler displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Virginia on July 2, 2020. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Apple will allow controversial social media platform Parler back into its app store, citing improvements the company made to moderate hate speech and incitement, according to a letter from Apple to members of Congress Monday.

Parler, a social networking service popular with many right-leaning social media users, was suspended from the Apple app store in January. Apple said the site had not taken adequate measures to prevent the spread of posts inciting violence in the wake of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Apple gave Parler 24 hours to submit a detailed moderation plan, pointing to participants’ using the service to coordinate the siege of the U.S. Capitol but the plan did not pass.

In a letter addressed to Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Ken Buck, Apple said in part:

In the period since Apple removed the Parler app from the App Store, Apple’s App Review Team has engaged in substantial conversations with Parler in an effort to bring the Parler app into compliance with the Guidelines and reinstate it in the App Store. As a result of those conversations, Parler has proposed updates to its app and the app’s content moderation practices, and the App Review Team has informed Parler as of April 14, 2021 that its proposed updated app will be approved for reinstatement to the App Store. Apple anticipates that the updated Parler app will become available immediately upon Parler releasing it.

Timothy Powderly, senior director of government affairs

Many supporters of former President Donald Trump migrated to Parler after Trump was banned from services including Twitter Inc, which permanently suspended his account.

Parler has faced legal battles with other social media platforms.

Alphabet Inc’s Google and Amazon.com also suspended Parler from their respective App Stores and web hosting service in January.

Last week, Amazon accused Parler of trying to conceal its ownership amid a legal dispute between Amazon and Parler stemming from the U.S. Capitol riots. The legal dispute began in January after Amazon Web Services, the Seattle company’s cloud-computing division, stopped working with Parler, temporarily wiping the platform off the internet. Amazon said Parler was unable to moderate a rise in violent content before, during and after the January insurrection.

Parler asked a federal judge in Seattle to force Amazon to reinstate it on the web. That effort failed. Parler then filed a new complaint over the same argument against Amazon in King County Superior Court.

Amazon immediately dragged the case back into federal court, where it was assigned the same judge who had ruled against Parler. Parler objected to the move, arguing the court has no jurisdiction over the case since both Amazon and Parler are incorporated in Delaware. The case is ongoing.

You can read the full letter below:

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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