According to the latest news, Apple and Google are facing new pressure to deplatform Parler. Parler is a social network founded as a less moderated and more conservative friendly alternative to Facebook and Twitter. BuzzFeed News reported last Friday that Apple has given Parler a decline of 24 hours to put a moderation platform into place or be expelled from its App Store.
The BuzzFeed post mentions that Apple wrote Parler executives that it had received complaints about “objectionable content”. Activist group Sleeping Giants has called on both Apple and Google to ban Parler from their app stores because some of the social media posts called for violence against elected officials. The group posted screenshots of Parler posts as evidence that called Vice President Mike Pence to face a firing squad and encourage “American Patriots” to return to the capital on 19th January “carrying Our weapons”.
The activist group has pointed out that both Google and Apple have clear rules against violent threats and moderation of content. As per Apple’s App Store, apps must have “a method for filtering objectionable material from being posted” and “a mechanism to report offensive content”. On the other hand, Google Play Store, bars apps that “depict or facilitate gratuitous violence or other dangerous activities” and states “we don’t allow apps that contain or facilitate threats, harassment, or bullying.”
These type of posts skyrocketed in Parler after Twitter and Facebook tightened their moderation. In an interview with Kara Swisher on the Sway podcast, Parler CEO John Matze said any posts on the site indicating Wednesday’s riots were “illegally organized and against the law”. He added, “I don’t feel responsible for any of this and neither should the platform, considering we’re a neutral town square that just adheres to the law.”
Last Thursday, in a post on Parler, Matze criticized Facebook and Twitter for their strict action against Donald Trump’s posts. The post reads, “It’s clear that Facebook and Twitter believe the ends justify the means. They believe the American people are weak. They insult our founding fathers by suggesting Zuckerburg and Dorsey know what is best for us. Parler is not an arbiter of truth. We believe in you. We believe you are wise enough to decide for yourself and trust that given access to all information we can self govern.”