Parler Working on Return to Apple’s App Store

Parler on Thursday said it’s working on returning to Apple’s app store, following a report it was denied reentry last month.

“Parler expects and hopes to keep working with Apple to return to the App Store. We’re optimistic that Apple will continue to differentiate itself from other ‘Big Tech’ companies by supporting its customers’ choice to ‘think different’—to exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms of thought, speech, and association—while using Apple products,” Amy Peikoff, Parler’s chief policy officer, told The Epoch Times via email.

Parler was removed from app stores run by Apple and Google in January following the breach of the U.S. Capitol. The technology giants alleged the social media platform did not have proper moderation practices in place.

Parler was also kicked from Amazon’s web servers. It went offline for weeks before resuming service on Feb. 15 with a new server farm and updated guidelines.

According to a Bloomberg report on Wednesday, Apple informed Parler late last month that the new guidelines are not sufficient to comply with its app store rules.

“There is no place for hateful, racist, discriminatory content on the App Store,” Apple reportedly wrote in a Feb. 25 letter, which included screenshots of Parler users with swastikas and other white nationalist images in their profile pictures.

Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment.

tim cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during a tour of the Flextronics computer manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas, on Nov. 20, 2019. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Peikoff said Parler’s mission is to provide a welcoming, nonpartisan platform that lets users exercise freedom of speech, thought, and association, and respects their privacy.

“Over the past two months, we’ve worked towards the goal of returning to Apple’s App Store, in reliance on Tim Cook’s statements that Apple’s problem was not with our mission, but only with the perceived lack of enforcement of our guidelines. Parler has always opposed and worked to remove violent and inciting rhetoric from our platform, because it inhibits productive, civil discourse. Accordingly, and even though we knew that problems with violent and inciting content were not unique to Parler in the weeks leading up to Jan. 6—a fact that independent reviews of court records have now shown—we worked tirelessly to adopt enhanced protocols for identifying and removing this type of content,” she said.

“We have since engaged Apple to show them how we’ve incorporated a combination of algorithmic filters and human review to detect and remove content that threatens or incites violence. We’ve also explained our new feature which empowers individual users with the option to filter out personal attacks based on immutable and irrelevant characteristics such as race, sex, sexual orientation, or religion. It’s just the latest way in which Parler enables users to curate their own feeds as they choose.”

Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in January that Parler’s suspension from Apple’s online store was done because there was “incitement to violence” on the platform. “If they get their moderation together, they would be back on there,” he said in an appearance on Fox News.

Parler has argued that Big Tech companies colluded against it while not taking action against competitors such as Twitter and Facebook, which have similar content on their platforms.

“If you look at the actual numbers,” there was “barely a blip on Parler,” interim CEO Mark Meckler told The Epoch Times last month, adding, “It was Facebook. It was YouTube, it was Twitter. That’s where the bad activity was taking place, for the most part.”