San Francisco: Apple on Saturday followed Google and removed the Parler app from its mobile store for allowing “threats of violence,” after the deadly attack on the US Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.
The Parler social network has become a haven for conservatives who say they have been censored by other social media platforms.
It had soared in popularity in recent months, becoming the No. 1 free app on Apple’s App Store on Saturday after Twitter’s decision hours earlier to permanently ban Trump from its platform.
“We have always supported diverse points of view being represented on the App Store, but there is no place on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity,” Apple said in a statement.
“Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety. We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues.”
Apple’s move came one day after Google pulled Parler from its app store for allowing “egregious content” that could incite deadly violence like that seen at the US Capitol on Wednesday.
Angry Trump supporters swarmed the building as lawmakers met to certify Joe Biden’s November 3 election win, leaving five people – including a policeman – dead.
Other mainstream social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitch have also suspended Trump following the attack on the Capitol.
Parler chief John Matze said in a post that the app will not be available in Apple’s App Store “until we give up free speech, institute broad and invasive policies like Twitter and Facebook and we become a surveillance platform by pursuing guilt of those who use Parler before innocence.”
But the platform has “many options” for moving ahead, he said.
Parler started in 2018 and was initially a home for the extreme right, but now it attracts more traditional conservative voices including Republican lawmakers.