Google has suspended the “free speech” social media app Parler and removed it from its mobile app store. Apple threatened to remove Parler in the coming days also.
Parler has widely been seen as an alternative social media platform for Americans who have been silenced and censored by platforms such as Twitter and Google.
“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,” Google said in a statement. “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 won’t cave to politically motivated companies and those authoritarians who hate free speech,” said Parler CEO John Matze.
Google said it will allow Parler to remedy the issue and seek reinstatement.
“We recognize that there can be reasonable debate about content policies and that it can be difficult for apps to immediately remove all violative content, but for us to distribute an app through Google Play, we do require that apps implement robust moderation for egregious content. In light of this ongoing and urgent public safety threat, we are suspending the app’s listings from the Play Store until it addresses these issue,” the company said.
Parler is currently the number one downloaded app on the Apple Store.
“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 warned Parler in a letter this week “The app also appears to continue to be used to plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities.”
“The Big Tech, Big Government symbiote is now in open war with free speech and civil liberties,” said Dan Bongino, a Fox News host and a prominent investor in the Parler platform. “Not that you need to be convinced about how full of shit Google and Apple are about “moderation” but, while death threats against Trump supporters and others run wild on Twitter, Twitter’s app is not being pulled from the respective App Stores. It’s only Parler they’re targeting. This tyrannical, monopolistic behavior must stop or we won’t have a country left.”