Google bans 'free speech' app Parler, Apple and Amazon have followed

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Joe White

Posts: 61   +0
Staff
TL;DR: Google has pulled ‘free speech’ social network app Parler from the Play Store for failing to remove posts inciting violence, and Apple could do the same soon. In an email sent to the app’s developers, Apple has given Parler 24 hours to submit an update implementing a moderation plan. Failure to do so will result in Parler’s removal from the App Store, too.

Update (Jan 9, 10pm): Apple has effectively removed Parler from the App Store and Amazon is kicking them out from AWS as well. You can download Parler from Android here.

Parler was launched in 2018 and has proved popular among right-wing conservative groups, who often accuse the likes of Twitter and Facebook of censoring their views. Twitter has been increasingly moderating its platform over the course of 2020, particularly in light of the U.S. election and the spread of misinformation around Covid-19.

As such, Parler, which describes itself as an unbiased social network, has rapidly gained users – including Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Fox News host Sean Hannity.

However, following the recent infiltration of the U.S. Capitol, Google has banned Parler from its Play Store for fostering calls to violence. Google is calling on Parler to implement moderation systems for egregious content and is suspending the app’s listings until it addresses these issues.

Unsurprisingly, Apple is following suit. In an email sent to Parler’s developers, Apple is giving the app 24 hours to implement a moderation plan, and said: “Our investigation has found that Parler is not effectively moderating and removing content that encourages illegal activity and poses a serious risk to the health and safety of users in direct violation of your own terms of service.”

Failure to do so will result in Parler’s removal from the App Store.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,885   +5,407
#1: “CONGRESS shall not...”

Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter... even Techspot, are all private.

Learn the Constitution.

there is no guarantee of “free speech”.

there is only a negative right for Congress (the government) to censor citizens.


#2. The violent insurrection/sedition and terrorism gave Social Media the perfect excuse to do what they should have done 3 years ago.

It’s called a “pretext”.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,490   +1,087
Absolutely disgusting behaviour from the big tech corpos. I can understand how Google and Facebook want to sensor their own platforms but banning competitors because they don’t match their censorship criteria isn’t on.

The problem is they do have a duopoly. If a user doesn’t agree with these private moderation policies they don’t exactly have the option to go elsewhere.

I have now removed Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. I will still use YouTube but in a container shell on my PC where they can’t get anything out of me. I urge others to do the same.
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,583   +3,405
TechSpot Elite
Absolutely disgusting behaviour from the big tech corpos. I can understand how Google and Facebook want to sensor their own platforms but banning competitors because they don’t match their censorship criteria isn’t on.

The problem is they do have a duopoly. If a user doesn’t agree with these private moderation policies they don’t exactly have the option to go elsewhere.

I have now removed Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. I will still use YouTube but in a container shell on my PC where they can’t get anything out of me. I urge others to do the same.
This isn't banning competition. It's implementing the TOS that says that inciting to violence and failing to moderate such content will lead to removal from the store. Pretty sure that the death of 4 people at Capitol should make you understand that people are willing to die for a clown.
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 434   +627
It looks like Parler already has in its community guidelines that it’ll delete content and possibly ban users who incite violence as it is a criminal activity... It makes you wonder, do Apple and Google care whether Parler has moderation guidelines in place?

However, even when the law may not require us to flag or remove reported content, or to ban a member, we will nonetheless do so when we deem it necessary to prevent our services from being used by someone in the commission of a crime or civil tort—particularly when these are likely to interfere with our mission of providing a welcoming, nonpartisan Public Square. Examples include criminal solicitation, fraud, and nuisance.
 

ShadowDeath

Posts: 174   +148
Are you talking hate/racism speech or differernt views/political speech. Because the first is common sense but the latter is what has happened and is happening.

No I'm talking about her call on twitter to dox Trump supporters on the 6th. This was on the 6th while voting was actively happening. At the time there were no talks of storming a capital, there were no talks of protesting in DC, there were just millions of people watching the TV waiting to see who won the election. At the same time she called on people to make a list of all the Trump supporters they knew with the intent of holding Trump supporters accountable to some vague standard. This tweet is the revised one, the original was worse. She says **** like this then gets shocked when people are pissed off enough to call her bluff.

(1) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter: "Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future? I foresee decent probability of many deleted Tweets, writings, photos in the future" / Twitter

Now an important note, I don't care about those people who stormed the capital, they don't represent me or how I feel. I stayed at home and watched the crap hit the fan because I knew what it meant for the votes afterwards. They just made **** worse and gave the Dems an excuse to do everything they've ever wanted.

What I do care about is when people call for violence or intimidation then later feigning innocence when it's done against them.
 

fps4ever

Posts: 668   +875
No I'm talking about her call on twitter to dox Trump supporters on the 6th. This was on the 6th while voting was actively happening. At the time there were no talks of storming a capital, there were no talks of protesting in DC, there were just millions of people watching the TV waiting to see who won the election. At the same time she called on people to make a list of all the Trump supporters they knew with the intent of holding Trump supporters accountable to some vague standard. This tweet is the revised one, the original was worse. She says **** like this then gets shocked when people are pissed off enough to call her bluff.

(1) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter: "Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future? I foresee decent probability of many deleted Tweets, writings, photos in the future" / Twitter

Now an important note, I don't care about those people who stormed the capital, they don't represent me or how I feel. I stayed at home and watched the crap hit the fan because I knew what it meant for the votes afterwards. They just made **** worse and gave the Dems an excuse to do everything they've ever wanted.

What I do care about is when people call for violence or intimidation then later feigning innocence when it's done against them.

Bingo...."thumbs up".
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,347   +2,626
TechSpot Elite
But in all seriousness, all I've been seeing from big tech recently is shallow, double standard excuses and what looks like revenge again people they want to hate. Calls to remove death threats and violence off platforms I can stand behind, but they're using a very wide brush here because they know they can.
And then they're emboldened by the loud radicals on the left who would cut off their nose to spite their face.

At least the EU is starting to go against them (though I still see them as a nanny state) or just pretending, but the US? No chance the next administration will be smart enough to limit them, especially since they see big tech being "on their side"...
 

trparky

Posts: 897   +934
It looks like Parler already has in its community guidelines that it’ll delete content and possibly ban users who incite violence as it is a criminal activity... It makes you wonder, do Apple and Google care whether Parler has moderation guidelines in place?
But it sure seemed like they (Parler) weren't enforcing their moderation policy and since they weren't following their own rules, then they get the ban hammer.
And it is not free country.
Yes, it is still a free country. You can still say what you want as long as you don't incite violence like what has happened. Free speech has consequences. Freedom has consequences. If you choose to use your free speech and freedoms to do stupid crap, be prepared to pay for your stupidity.
 

Cubi Dorf

Posts: 333   +219
But it sure seemed like they (Parler) weren't enforcing their moderation policy and since they weren't following their own rules, then they get the ban hammer.

Yes, it is still a free country. You can still say what you want as long as you don't incite violence like what has happened. Free speech has consequences. Freedom has consequences. If you choose to use your free speech and freedoms to do stupid crap, be prepared to pay for your stupidity.

This is talk of punish an app maker for a user behavior. In a free country you don’t get punish because of some other person action.
 
Is Google or Facebook winning something because of Parler app ? No. They are loosing ? Of course they are. Do you really think this is all about human rights ? Of course not, it's all about money. It's just the perfect time to get rid of the competition. To bad many people do not realize that democracy and freedom of speech can be lost over night.
 
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