Parler still working on return to app store after rejection

Bill Mount

Parler says it’s still trying to get back into Apple’s good graces after tech titan reportedly rejected its bid to return to the app store. The controversial social network has spent two months trying to address the iPhone maker’s concerns about violent content that got the Parler app booted from […]

Parler says it’s still trying to get back into Apple’s good graces after tech titan reportedly rejected its bid to return to the app store.

The controversial social network has spent two months trying to address the iPhone maker’s concerns about violent content that got the Parler app booted from Apple’s platform following the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

After Parler relaunched in mid-February with new community guidelines in place, Apple told the startup that it had not done enough to comply with its policies against objectionable content, according to reports.

To prove its point, Apple reportedly sent Parler more than a dozen screenshots that show its users sharing racist, anti-gay and anti-Semitic slurs along with swastikas and other Nazi imagery.

“As you know, developers are required to implement robust moderation capabilities to proactively identify, prevent and filter this objectionable content to protect the health and safety of users,” Apple wrote in a Feb. 25 message to Parler, which was obtained by Input and Bloomberg News.

“It is clear from your stated moderation policies and from review of your app, that your moderation practices are insufficient to comply with the App Store Review Guidelines,” the note reportedly added.

In a statement Thursday, Parler chief policy officer Amy Peikoff said the company has tried to show Apple the steps it’s taken to root out harmful posts.

They include using a “combination of algorithmic filters and human review” to remove content that threatens or incites violence and implementing a feature that lets users filter out nasty language about “immutable and irrelevant characteristics” like race or sex.

“Parler expects and hopes to keep working with Apple to return to the App Store,” Peikoff said. “We’re optimistic that Apple will continue to differentiate itself from other ‘Big Tech’ companies by supporting its customers’ choice to ‘think different’ — to exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms of thought, speech, and association — while using Apple products.”

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Parler has taken a much friendlier stance toward Apple than Amazon, which booted the right-wing site from its servers in January over concerns about its users’ violent posts, knocking it offline for more than a month.

Parler also remains barred from the Google Play store.
Parler also remains barred from the Google Play store.
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Parler filed scathing lawsuits accusing Amazon Web Services of silencing the platform to protect Twitter, another one of its clients. Amazon has said Parler’s claims are meritless.

Parler’s app also has yet to return to the Google Play store, which removed it a day before Apple.

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