As a country, we witnessed many battles this year, but none more prominent than those surrounding free speech — and Parler stole the spotlight. After a heated few months over free speech and the regulation of its platform, Parler will finally return to Apple’s App Store. This week the app announced it will relaunch on Apple’s App Store the week of April 26.
Parler made front-line news in January when it was removed from the Google Play Store. The Apple Store immediately followed suit. Shortly after, Amazon removed it from its web hosting service, effectively crippling the social media platform entirely. Tap or click here for more about Parler’s backstory.
Parler didn’t take the ban lightly and had been fighting to reinstate its app. Many assumed the platform might not return at all. But, after four long months, Apple has announced it is allowing Parler to return to its App Store line-up once again.
Here’s the backstory
Parler is an alternative social media platform that looks a lot like Twitter. Created with the idea of free speech, it offered community-regulated policies concerning what was being said on the platform. While not designed to be a conservative platform, the majority of users align to the right.
Before the capitol riots occurred in D.C. this January, users were seen promoting the attacks on Parler. Later, some Parler users were found participating in the insurrection.
When more and more violent and hateful speech continued to arise on Parler without immediate regulation, Google Play pulled the app, citing a violation of its policies and regulations. Shortly after, Apple quoted the same policy breaches and removed Parler from its App Store as well.
Now, this sparked quite a bit of controversy. Parler launched because sites like Twitter were heavily moderating user’s comments. Parler sought to open a platform for users to share their opinions and thoughts in a free and open environment. But Google Play and Apple ultimately shut it down. Tap or click here for details on what Parler is and why it was removed from both app stores.
Why is it coming back?
When Parler was first removed, it swore it would create its own servers to support its app so it wouldn’t face a similar situation down the road. But building new servers takes time.
Since its removal, Parler has been working to create new content moderation practices that align with Apple’s policies. This week, Apple announced that Parler’s updates were sufficient and could return to the App Store.
“Through its work with Apple, Parler implemented several new safeguards in order to detect posts that would not fall within the protections of the First Amendment,” Parler officials said in a new statement. “Parler did not, however, make changes to its broad policies to create a free and open platform without viewpoint censorship and committed to the First Amendment rights of its users. While the App Store version of Parler will prohibit some posts that Parler allows, those posts will still remain visible on the web-based and Android versions of Parler.”
Next week, it will return to smartphones. Whether this stirs the storms of controversy remains to be seen. We’ll be sure to update you every step of the way, so stay tuned.