Both Google and
have taken action against Parler, a social-networking app that is popular with Trump supporters and believed to have been connected to the violence in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Google, a unit of
(GOOGL), suspended Parler from its Google Play app store on Friday until it “implements robust moderation for egregious content.”
“We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the U.S.,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to Barron’s. “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.”
Apple (AAPL) demanded that Parler improve its moderation efforts or be removed from its App Store, according to a letter published by BuzzFeed News.
(TWTR) began appending fact checks and moderating President Donald Trump’s posts, many conservatives flocked to Parler, which describes itself as “the world’s premier free speech platform.” But it’s those relaxed moderation standards where Apple and Google are finding fault. Apple said it has received accusations that Trump supporters used the app to plan and coordinate the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
“We have received numerous complaints regarding objectionable content in your Parler service, accusations that the Parler app was used to plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal activities in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021 that led (among other things) to loss of life, numerous injuries, and the destruction of property,” Apple wrote in the letter. “The app also appears to continue to be used to plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities.”
Apple gave the company 24 hours to give more information on content moderation plans and to address “what you will do to improve moderation and content filtering your service for this kind of objectionable content going forward,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
Parler CEO John Matze pushed back against Apple in a post on his platform. “We will and always have enforced our rules against violence and illegal activity,” he wrote, according to BuzzFeed. “But we WONT cave to politically motivated companies and those authoritarians who hate free speech!”
Matze told the Journal he thinks Parler’s existing rules meet Apple’s standards, adding the company is confident that “we can retain our values and make Apple happy quickly.”
Neither Apple nor Parler representatives immediately responded to a request for comment from Barron’s.
Eric J. Savitz contributed reporting to this article.
Write to Connor Smith at email@example.com