Jan 9, 2021 - Technology

Apple threatens to remove Parler from app store after deadly Capitol siege

Photo of two hands holding up a laptop with a Parler ad on the screen
Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Apple on Friday morning demanded that Parler, a social media app favored by conservatives and far-right extremists, submit a “moderation improvement plan” within 24 hours or face removal from the app store, BuzzFeed reports.

Driving the news: In a letter to Parler executives, Apple said it had received several complaints that the app had been used to help plan and facilitate Wednesday's deadly siege on the Capitol by supporters of President Trump.

The big picture: Parler serves as a hub for people suspended from popular social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

  • It’s branded as a free speech alternative and practices looser moderation, allowing posts that include conspiracy theories, threats and hate speech, among other things, to remain on the platform.

What they’re saying: Parler “appears to continue to be used to plan and facilitate further illegal and dangerous activities," Apple wrote in its letter to Parler, per BuzzFeed.

  • "Content of this dangerous and harmful nature is not appropriate for the App Store,” it added.
  • “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.”
  • Apple did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Parler CEO John Matze wrote on Friday that the company would "not cave to pressure from anti-competitive actors!"

  • "We will and always have enforced our rules against violence and illegal activity,” Matze added.

Google announced later on Friday it has pulled Parler from its app store for not taking stronger action to remove posts that seek "to incite ongoing violence" in the U.S.

Go deeper: Twitter bans Trump

Editor's note: This story has been updated with Google's announcement.

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