Apple Blocks Parler from Returning to App Store

Tim Cook CEO of Apple laughing
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Apple has blocked Parler from returning to its App Store, which would have allowed new users to download the social media app on iPhones.

“After having reviewed the new information, we do not believe these changes are sufficient to comply with App Store Review guidelines,” Apple told Parler on February 25, according to a report by Bloomberg. “There is no place for hateful, racist, discriminatory content on the App Store.”

Apple had joined Google in banning Parler from its App Store in January after the Capitol Hill riot, claiming that the platform did not adequately implement moderation policies that crack down on free speech. The move effectively excluded the app from all Apple smartphones.

At the time, Amazon made a similar move by booting Parler from its web hosting services — under the guise of having concern for public safety — which knocked Parler offline until it was able to find another host. Last month, Parler was able to return to live online service.

Now, Apple has rejected Parler’s request to return to the App Store, claiming that the social media platform still has still not sufficiently cracked down on free speech.

“As you know, developers are required to implement robust moderation capabilities to proactively identify, prevent and filter this objectionable content to protect the health and safety of users,” continued Apple in its letter to Parler, which was obtained by Bloomberg.

The tech giant added that content including “easily identified offensive uses of derogatory terms regarding race, religion and sexual orientation, as well as Nazi symbols” can allegedly still be found on the social media platform.

“For these reasons your app cannot be returned to the App Store for distribution until it complies with the guidelines,” Apple said.

In a statement to Breitbart News, Parler said that for months, it has been working toward returning to the App Store “in reliance on Tim Cook’s statements that Apple’s problem was not with our mission, but only with the perceived lack of enforcement of our guidelines.”

“Parler has always opposed and worked to remove violent and inciting rhetoric from our platform, because it inhibits productive, civil discourse,” Parler told Breitbart News.

“Accordingly, and even though we knew that problems with violent and inciting content were not unique to Parler in the weeks leading up to Jan. 6 — a fact that independent reviews of court records have now shown — we worked tirelessly to adopt enhanced protocols for identifying and removing this type of content,” Parler added.

The social media platform says that it has shown Apple “how we’ve incorporated a combination of algorithmic filters and human review to detect and remove content that threatens or incites violence.”

“We’ve also explained our new feature which empowers individual users with the option to filter out personal attacks based on immutable and irrelevant characteristics such as race, sex, sexual orientation, or religion,” Parler said.

The social media platform added that it will continue working with Apple to return to the App Store.

“We’re optimistic that Apple will continue to differentiate itself from other ‘Big Tech’ companies by supporting its customers’ choice to ‘think different’ — to exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms of thought, speech, and association — while using Apple products,” said Parler.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler @alana, and on Instagram.

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