Parler app removed from Google, Apple, Amazon stores

Google accused Parler of creating an 'ongoing and urgent public safety threat'

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Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. are joining Google in removing Parler from their services. Parler, the social media network favored by Trump supporters and other far-right extremists, was among those used to organize Wednesday’s riots at the Capitol.

Accusing Parler of creating an “ongoing and urgent public safety threat,” Google removed the app from its Google Play store on Friday. Apple quickly followed suit, dropping Parler from its App store, while Amazon chose to stop hosting the social media company beginning Saturday night.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 09: A general view of the the Parler app icon displayed on an iPhone on January 9, 2021 in London, England. The Parler App popular with right-wing supporters has been suspended from Google’s Play store over continued postings by users that incite violence. US President Donald Trump was suspended indefinitely from Twitter after tweets he made encouraged his supporters to break into the Capitol building and five people died in the ensuing violence. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

The move by the three tech giants will leave Parler cut off from virtually all of the world’s smartphone users, and scrambling to find a new company to host its services after Sunday night.

Read More: Facebook, Apple battle over online tracking, user privacy

Initially, Apple threatened to remove the app, telling Parler developers Friday they had 24 hours to provide Apple with a plan for moderating and filtering the service, Bloomberg reported.

Hoping to remain on the App Store, Parler told Apple in a letter that it “has been taking this content very seriously for weeks,” that it would implement a moderation plan “for the time being” and that it would implement a temporary task force, per Bloomberg.

But Apple rejected Parler’s plan of action. “We have continued to find direct threats of violence and calls to incite lawless action,” Apple wrote to Parler on Saturday, adding that the measures were “inadequate to address the proliferation of dangerous and objectionable content on your app.”

According to Bloomberg, Amazon Web Services wrote to Parler about its decision to suspend its AWS account. Amazon said it had informed Parler of 98 instances of posts inciting violence in recent weeks, and that Parler’s plans to moderate its content were insufficient.

Read More: Fear, more than hate, feeds online bigotry and real-world violence

Parler’s Chief Executive Officer John Matze said its services may be affected by up to a week.

“We will try our best to move to a new provider right now as we have many competing for our business, however Amazon, Google and Apple purposefully did this as a coordinated effort knowing our options would be limited,” Matze said. “This was a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the market place.”

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