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Photos: Getty Images

Google has pulled Parler, a social media app for conservatives and far-right extremists, from its app store for not taking stronger action to remove posts that seek "to incite ongoing violence" in the U.S.

Driving the news: For weeks prior to Wednesday's deadly siege on the Capitol, far-right Trump supporters discussed the idea of a violent protest in D.C. on various social media and chat platforms, including Parler.

What they're saying: “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," a Google spokesperson said.

  • "All developers agree to these terms and we have reminded Parler of this clear policy in recent months," the spokesperson added.
  • "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 issues.”

The big picture: Earlier Friday, Apple sent a letter to Parler executives, demanding the app submit a “moderation improvement plan” within 24 hours or face removal from the app store.

  • Apple and Google run the two biggest app stores and are wielding serious power by restricting Parler, where many right-wing figures have flocked after being banned from Facebook and Twitter.
  • Parler is 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.

Parler CEO John Matze has not commented publicly on Google's move, but did respond to Apple's threats on the app Friday, saying the company would "not cave to pressure from anti-competitive actors!"

Go deeper: Twitter bans Trump

Editor's note: This article has been updated with additional information throughout.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 21, 2021 - Technology

Facebook refers Trump ban to independent Oversight Board for review

Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook's independent Oversight Board has accepted a referral from the platform to review its decision to indefinitely suspend former President Trump.

Why it matters: While Trump critics largely praised the company's decision to remove the then-president's account for potential incitement of violence, many world leaders and free speech advocates pushed back on the decision, arguing it sets a dangerous precedent for free speech moving forward.

17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's latest executive order: Buy American

President Joe R. Biden speaks about the economy before signing executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Friday, Jan 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden will continue his flurry of executive orders on Monday, signing a new directive to require the federal government to “buy American” for products and services.

Why it matters: The executive action is yet another attempt by Biden to accomplish goals administratively without waiting for the backing of Congress. The new order echoes Biden's $400 billion campaign pledge to increase government purchases of American goods.

Tech digs in for long domestic terror fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With domestic extremist networks scrambling to regroup online, experts fear the next attack could come from a radicalized individual — much harder than coordinated mass events for law enforcement and platforms to detect or deter.

The big picture: Companies like Facebook and Twitter stepped up enforcement and their conversations with law enforcement ahead of Inauguration Day. But they'll be tested as the threat rises that impatient lone-wolf attackers will lash out.