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Apple Will Let Hate Speech App Back Into the Store

Presenting itself as an alternative to Facebook and Twitter and a haven for free speech, the conservative app Parler was removed from major tech platforms in early January following the US Capitol riots. Parler was kicked off of Apple and Google’s app stores, as well as Amazon Web Services, which had been hosting the company’s product.

All three cited the presence of violent speech on Parler as a reason for removal; Parler later said that other vendors also cut ties with the company, effectively shutting the service down and making it inaccessible on the web. For several weeks, visitors to Parler’s website were greeted by a static page instead of a functioning social networking app. The app briefly came back online on February 15th, but it wasn’t long before Parler’s CEO was terminated by its board and the app went dark again.

[Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images]
Now after nearly three months of back and forth, Apple has approved Parler’s return to the iOS app store following “improvements” the social media company made to better detect and moderate hate speech and incitement, according to a letter the company sent to Congress on Monday. The decision clears the way for the app popular with members of the far-right, to be downloaded once again on Apple devices.

In a letter addressed to Senator Mike Lee (Q-UT) and Rep. Ken Buck (Q-CO) that was obtained by CNN the company explained that since the app was removed from Apple’s platform in January for violations of its policies, Parler “has proposed updates to its app and the app’s content moderation practices.”

“Apple anticipates that the updated Parler app will become available immediately upon Parler releasing it,” Apple’s letter to Lee and Buck said.

The two acted like it was all them, when Parler wouldn’t have been allowed back on the App Store without full compliance. Even so, Lee and Buck came out swinging on behalf of everyone who wants to have fewer restrictions put on their hate speech.

Twitter responded with the expected criticisms of Apple openly allowing hate speech to run unchecked on their platform.

But some pointed out the usefulness of an app full of people who live on the fringe openly sharing anti-government information.

 



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