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Apple and Google Remove Parler App for Instigating Attack on Capitol

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Credits: Reuters

Parler, the microblogging application, has been removed by technology giants Apple and Google from their respective app stores.

The app was accused of not moderating content that incited and instigated the recent attacks on the Capitol building in the USA on Wednesday.

Amazon has also confirmed that it removed the app from its Amazon Web Services for violating their terms and services.

Google had suspended the application on Friday, citing that it had encouraged violence. It demanded that Parler should moderate its content.

Apple had initially warned Parler to keep a check on its content and gave the app makers 24 hours to submit a detailed moderation plan. Unhappy over their response, Apple eventually suspended the social networking platform from their app store.

According to The Verge, Apple said, “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.”

The move comes days after Twitter and Facebook banned outgoing USA President Donald Trump from their social media platforms for his role in encouraging his supporters to storm the Capitol. However, existing users can still continue using the app and can also access it on mobile browsers.

Founded in 2018, Parler was popular with far-right conservative voices, who encouraged people to use it instead of Twitter and Facebook. According to a report by BBC, Parler has become a popular website for those who were banned on Twitter and was a place where it was easy for users to discuss conspiracy theories and spread disinformation.

While outgoing Trump was not on the platform, many Republican senators, like Ted Cruz and Fox News’ Sean Hannity, were active on the platform.

The application was widely popular in the USA, and briefly, it was the most downloaded app in the country.

The New York Times reported that Parler was downloaded 39,000 times a day after the Capitol building riots. Parler CEO John Matze pointed out that soon after Apple announced that it was considering banning Parler, the app raced to the top spot on their store. He added that Apple was displaying “horrible double standards”.

Even Democrats, such as Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, pulled up Apple and Google hours before the ban, after screenshots and images of hateful and violent content posted on Parler became viral.

The application’s suspension has also raised the question on the influence and power that the two technology moghuls wield.

Both Google and Apple roughly split the market in the USA and their decision to remove Parler lands a considerable blow to the application and has forced the app to go offline. While some have lauded their decision, extremists and right-wing voices feel that the Silicon Valley is thwarting only conservative voices.

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