Apple and Google Suspend Social Media App Parler, Draw Criticism for Violating Free Speech

By Adriaan Brits Monday, January 11, 2021

Social networking service Parler has been banned from Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store for an alleged breaking of rules and regulations. The social media app has proved popular in recent weeks among US conservatives after Facebook, Twitter, and Snap suspended President Donald Trump’s social media accounts.

‘Tech Tyrants’ Accused of Violation of Free Speech

Apple has initially warned Parler that it will remove its app from the App store within 24 hours unless it provides a “content moderation improvement plan.” The decision to suspend Parler from the App Store comes shortly after Google banned it from its Play Store.

In its suspension announcement, Google said it is banning Parler until its developers offer a different moderation and enforcement policy that does not tolerate content that “incite[s] violence.”

“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 issues,” Google said in the announcement.

Similarly, Apple said that it wouldn’t allow space for “threats of violence and illegal activity.”

“We have always supported diverse points of view being represented on the App Store, but there is no place on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity. Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety. We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues,” Apple said.

On the other hand, John Matze, chief executive of Parlor, responded to this ultimatum by saying he would not submit to those who “hate free speech.”

"We won't cave to politically motivated companies and those authoritarians who hate free speech!"

In response to Apple’s statement, Dan Bongino, American commentator and Parler investor, referred to Apple as a “tech tyrant” and said the company is not much different from the Chinese communist party in its “preference for totalitarian thought control.”

“I’m proud of the remaining liberty-loving people of this great country. And I’m embarrassed, and horrified by the tech totalitarians who’ve taken control of it,” Bongino said.

Bongino recently earned a 12-hour ban from Twitter for posting the video tweeted by President Donald Trump. Bongino said he doesn’t plan on returning to this social network.

Summary

Apple and Google have found themselves under criticism from conservatives after banning social network app Parler from the App Store and Play Store, respectively.

About the Author


Headshot for author Adriaan Brits
As an analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment, and business. He is a specialist trainer in Advanced Analytics & Media.

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