Apple reinstates 'free speech' Parler to the App Store

David Matthews

Posts: 426   +82
Staff member
Why it matters: Parler, the app that bills itself as a free speech alternative to Facebook and Twitter, has been reinstated to the Apple App Store. This is sure to please many conservative leaning people who were drawn to the app during the recent presidential election. Apple says it's had extensive talks with the social media platform to institute more stringent moderation policies to prevent violence and hate speech.

Following the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol, self-described "free speech" social network app Parler was pulled from Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store. Apple has reversed its position and has reinstated Parler, per CNN, citing that it had "substantial conversations" with Parler about following App Store policies.

Apple's senior director for government affairs, Timothy Powderly, explained the reasoning behind the decision in a letter to Senator Mike Lee and Congressman Ken Buck. The letter is a response to an inquiry by Senator Lee and Congressman Buck following the de-platforming of Parler.

"As a result of those conversations, Parler has proposed updates to its app and the app's content moderation practices," said Powderly, "The App Review Team has informed Parler as of April 14th, 2021, that its proposed updated app will be approved for reinstatement to the App Store. Apple anticipates that the updated Parler app will become immediately available upon Parler releasing it.

The app bills itself as a free speech alternative to more popular social networking platforms like Facebook or Twitter. It drew many conservative-leaning supporters, particularly those who supported Donald Trump in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

Parler was originally kicked away from the App Store due to violating Apple's policies on hate speech and inciting violence. Apple gave Parler a 24-hour notice to update their moderation policies to comply with App Store rules, but failed to do so. Apple subsequently made good on their promise to remove Parler which was then followed by Google. Amazon also kicked Parler out of AWS after repeated warnings. However, it seems that Parler has been able to update its moderation policies to get back in Apple's good graces.

Permalink to story.

 

Dimitriid

Posts: 384   +657
Yes of course Apple: allow back a platform that sold itself as a hotbed of neo nazis under the pretense of "free speech" because they promise they'll moderate better and do exactly the thing that goes against why it had anybody using it at all.

Yeah no: this will either be ignore or gone from the Apple store within another 6 months: Free speech absolutists are the most easily exploitable targets for people looking to spread the opposite set of ideas like hate speech, simply because there is no middle: there is no reasonable thinking in saying "You are allowed to dehumanize and abuse other people as much as you want but only if you really, pinky promise it will stay at just words and not actions" Meanwhile another mass shooter probably left to act out his ideology before Parler has even finished that sentence.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,774   +1,894
TechSpot Elite
Should we get an office pool together here and take bets on how long it'll last? Looks like Dimitriid's in for 6 mo. I'm gonna go sleazy and claim 3 mo. Are we using Price Is Right rules?
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,608   +691
It's only a morale win. Parler is done at this point. From what I understand, their authentication system was already broken to begin with.
 

Scrye74

Posts: 27   +53
Yes of course Apple: allow back a platform that sold itself as a hotbed of neo nazis under the pretense of "free speech" because they promise they'll moderate better and do exactly the thing that goes against why it had anybody using it at all.

Yeah no: this will either be ignore or gone from the Apple store within another 6 months: Free speech absolutists are the most easily exploitable targets for people looking to spread the opposite set of ideas like hate speech, simply because there is no middle: there is no reasonable thinking in saying "You are allowed to dehumanize and abuse other people as much as you want but only if you really, pinky promise it will stay at just words and not actions" Meanwhile another mass shooter probably left to act out his ideology before Parler has even finished that sentence.

Fortunately, we have all the other social media apps that stifle free speech in the name of keeping violence out of our society. (hope nobody reading this lives in one of the many cities currently on fire from riots coordinated on those apps)
 

Arbie

Posts: 239   +447
Fortunately, we have all the other social media apps that stifle free speech yada yada yada
Gotta laugh at the jokers throwing around "free speech". Big clue: you aren't entitled to free speech here or anywhere else, now or ever. In the US the First Amendment prevents the government from abridging your freedom of speech - period. And even that's the subject of numberless law books and case law interpretations. It's so far removed from "say anything you want" that even implying they're the same is laughable. Two minutes of research will get you to a dozen sites explaining why. As just one example:

• Get a clue about "free speech"

"FaceBook isn't giving me free speech! Twitter banned my racist rants! Waaahhh... Damn libruls! Commies! Time to overthrow the gummint!"
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,696   +6,055
Gotta laugh at the jokers throwing around "free speech".
Different context when Parler is the one saying it. It was Amazons platform, so they were the only ones with the authority to say anything. Google and Apple overstepped their authority in banning Parler.
 

Arbie

Posts: 239   +447
Parler currently is no longer a free speech platform.
This was the context. For the reasons given (read "Get a Clue") it never was a free speech platform. Nor is / was anything else. But somehow our country's gotten along for 250 years. Urging overthrow into a de facto dictatorship because we've "lost free speech" - or any other drummed-up alt-right fantasy - is beyond foolish.
 
Last edited:

Danny101

Posts: 1,608   +691
A sticking point here is that corporations are running a fine line. The government can't abridge the first amendment. True. Private companies have leeway to control what's on their platforms. True. So if there are only a limited amount of platforms and all in unison begin to control speech in favor of one political party over another then that is entering dangerous territory. When government and corporations are partners in this way, that is the very definition of fascism (authoritarianism). So it's not the government doing it, but corporations. That's just a sleight of hand way of the government doing it.

When the subject came up about changing the law forcing social media companies as publishers, I still was reticent on that change. I want more choices. Period. Stifling speech only puts it underground, disables the disinfectant of sunlight, and allows tumors to fester. It's best to know where people stand and spur debate on the efficacy of those stances.

Neither the Left or the Right have locks on the truth. Both sides can carry extreme positions. We only want the best positions of both sides (or at least I do) to create the strong middle. I liken it to male and female. Left=female(tyrannical=communism). Right=male(tyrannical=(fascism). Explains why Russia called their nation the motherland and Germany called theirs the fatherland.
China is an example of utilizing both. ( the land). Best of both worlds I guess.
 
Last edited:

Arbie

Posts: 239   +447
So if there are only a limited amount of platforms and all in unison begin to control speech in favor of one political party over another then that is entering dangerous territory.
No - it's entering alt-right conspiracy theory land. The major social media platforms finally began drawing the line on sedition, racism, and general hate. Which is what the government would do. The platforms, as private entities, are more exposed legally and some are more responsive socially.

If you want to postulate dystopias and announce that you're against them, fine. But that's not what's happening, and to implicitly assume so is at best irrelevant and at worst both misleading and harmful.
 
Last edited: