Apple Rejects Parler’s Request to Return to App Store
Tech monopoly Apple is refusing to allow Parler to return its app to the company’ s App Store, citing insufficient left-wing censorship policies. Apple removed Parler’s app from the App Store in January, using the platform as a scapegoat for the raucous protest at the US Capitol.
Parler had requested to be reinstated to the App Store in late February, with Apple promptly denying the service’s request. Apple still claims that Parler’s terms of service promote violence, ignoring the smorgasbord of violence that is regularly planned and celebrated on Big Tech platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
“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 to Parler, utilizing a standard that would require nearly every Big Tech platform to be banned from the service. “For these reasons your app cannot be returned to the App Store for distribution until it complies with the guidelines.”
Parler will likely never return to the App Store, with Big Tech now sweating the potential loss of their monopoly. Apple could potentially be compelled to allow free access to the centralized software service in litigation, possessing a de facto monopoly on smartphone content.
Parler’s former CEO, John Matze, was fired from the company earlier in February, with the platform’s owners and Matze each accusing one another of betraying Parler’s original free speech mission. Matze allegedly supported using automated algorithms to censor what he said was genuinely unlawful and violent speech, a point of contention he says got him fired. Parler is back online, but free speech competitor Gab has largely staked out a position as the most prominent free speech social media service in recent months. Gab’s server infrastructure is internally owned, and the platform is optimized for use in a web browser, eschewing reliance on a centralized App Store.
Politely begging the major oligarchs and megacorporations for platform access isn’t the way forward for the American Right. With Joe Biden ascendant on the Presidential throne, it’s all but impossible social media regulation legislation will be passed that will enable free speech online, and anything supported by the Democratic Party will likely advance online censorship. It’s time to build resilient and lasting new internet platforms that enable online and right-wing political speech.