Sep 2, 2022 - Technology

Google brings Parler back to Google Play Store

Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A year and a half after it was removed from Google’s Play Store, Parler, a Twitter alternative that attracts conservatives, has returned to the showcase for Android apps.

Why it matters: Google removed Parler following the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, which was incited by misinformation and violent speech online.

Details: Beginning Friday, Parler will be available for download in Google’s Play Store, in addition to Apple’s App Store, where it was brought back in April 2021.

  • The app is being reinstated in response to a slew of measures Parler has taken to moderate the content on its app, including allowing users to block and report other users and actively monitoring content for things like violent speech.
  • Since being removed from the Play Store last year, Parler has made its app available to download on Android phones through a separate version available via download on its website.

What they’re saying: "As we’ve long stated, apps are able to appear on Google Play provided they comply with Play’s developer policies,” a Google spokesperson told Axios.

  • “All apps on Google Play that feature User Generated Content (UGC) are required to implement robust moderation practices that prohibit objectionable content, provide an in-app system for reporting objectionable UGC, take action against that UGC where appropriate, and remove or block abusive users who violate the app's terms of use and/or user policy," according to Google.
  • Parler didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The big picture: Big Tech platforms took unprecedented measures to kick users and apps off of their platforms following the Capitol siege, including former President Donald Trump.

  • In response, Trump created his own social network, Truth Social, which — as Axios has recently reported — has not yet been accepted into the Google Play Store, due to content moderation concerns.
  • A source told Axios that Truth Social is actively working on updating its app to meet Google’s content moderation standards and could be available via the Play Store soon.
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