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Apple Denies Parler's Request to Return to iOS App Store



(Photo Illustration by Thiago PrudĂȘncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Apple has reportedly rejected Parler from being relisted in the iOS App Store because its users can still post hate symbols, including swastikas, on the social media app. 

Parler was removed from the iOS App Store in the wake of the Jan. 6 mob riot at the US Capitol. On the app, users had made numerous posts calling for civil war, violence, and to bring guns to Washington, D.C. After the ban, Parler sought to get relisted, but Apple last month sent a letter to Parler, denying its re-entry, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Parler has been marketing itself as a haven for free speech. Hence, the social media app features little content moderation. However, the policy is also why Apple refuses to return Parler to the App Store.

“In fact, simple searches reveal highly objectionable content, including easily identified offensive uses of derogatory terms regarding race, religion, and sexual orientation, as well as Nazi symbols,” Apple wrote in its letter to Parler’s chief policy officer last month, which was obtained by Bloomberg. 

On Feb. 14, Parler published new community guidelines that say it’ll remove content tied to crimes and other unlawful acts. However, Apple says the new guidelines still fail to follow its own rules on preventing racist and discriminatory content from circulating on the iOS App Store. 

“As you know, developers are required to implement robust moderation capabilities to proactively identify, prevent and filter this objectionable content to protect the health and safety of users,” Apple added in its letter to Parler. 

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But Parler told PCMag it hopes to keep working with Apple on getting the app relisted. 

“Parler has always opposed and worked to remove violent and inciting rhetoric from our platform, because it inhibits productive, civil discourse,” the company claimed in a statement. “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.”   

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