Apple to allow free-speech social app Parler to return to App Store after two U.S. lawmakers intervened
After removing Parler from its App Store back in January, Apple announced today that it will now allow the free-speech social app back on App Store, according to a letter released by Congressman Ken Buck (R-Colo.).
The decision to allow Parley back into its platform came after two conservative lawmakers demanded answers from Apple about why the tech giant removed Parler from the App Store. In response to their letter, Apple said:
“Apple anticipates that the updated Parler app will become available immediately upon Parler releasing it,” Apple’s letter stated.
In a letter dated March 31, Senator Mike Lee and Congressman Ken Buck sent a letter demanding answers about why Apple removed Parler from the App Store. In a Twitter post, Congressman Ken wrote:
“On March 31, @SenMikeLee and I sent a letter demanding answers about why Apple removed Parler from the App Store. Police cars revolving light. Today, we received a response: Parler will be reinstated on the App Store. Huge win for free speech.”
It all started on January 6 following the US Capitol riots. Apple removed the app after the tech giant accused Parler that its platform was used to publicize the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot when the app’s content featured calls for violence and other illegal activity.
Parler has updated its app and improved its content moderation, an Apple official wrote in the letter. As of April 14, Apple’s App Review department had approved the changes and that an updated version of Parler will be approved by Apple, the letter said.
“Apple anticipates that the updated Parler app will become available immediately upon Parler releasing it,” Timothy Powderly, Apple’s senior director for government affairs wrote in the letter addressed to Buck and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah.)
Apple said that it did not coordinate with the other companies to remove Parler. “Apple made an independent decision to remove Parler for non-compliance with the guidelines, and it did not coordinate or otherwise consult with Google or Amazon with respect to that decision,” Powderly wrote in the letter.
Meanwhile, Google also removed Parler from its Google Play store. Amazon pulled its web hosting contract, which later led to a lawsuit.
As millions of users seeking free speech apps abandoned Twitter, Parler became one of the most downloaded apps in AppStore and Google, surpassing Twitter and Tik-Tok.
Based in Henderson, Nevada, Parler claimed to be the solution to problems that have surfaced in recent years due to changes in Big Tech policy influenced by various special-interest groups. Parler is built upon a foundation of respect for privacy and personal data, free speech, free markets, and ethical, transparent corporate policy.
Unlike Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms owned by the Big Tech, Parler describes its platform as an unbiased, free-speech social media platform focused on protecting users’ rights. In accordance with its free speech policy, Parler adopts a laissez-faire approach to offensive speech, citing the FCC’s definition of obscenity to define the threshold for acceptable conduct.