Parler, the social-media app favored by some conservatives that got blamed for contributing to the riot at the US Capitol, will reportedly be allowed to return to Apple’s app store.
Apple banned the controversial app on Jan. 9 when it said Parler failed to remove posts on its social network that were allegedly used incite violence. The move came on the heels of the Jan. 6 riots in Washington and was followed by other tech giants including Amazon and Google.
But in a letter to members of Congress, Apple said it agreed to let Parler resume operations on its system again because Parler has updated its software to better monitor hate speech, according to a letter addressed to Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), who posted the letter on his Twitter account on Monday.
The legislators had sent Apple a letter on March 31 requesting information on why Parler was banned from its platforms.
According to the letter written by Apple’s senior director of government affairs, Timothy Powderly, Apple has been communicating with Parler “regarding failures in its content moderation efforts.”
Apple’s app team, the letter said, had found posts that violate its policies, including posts “that encouraged violence, denigrated various ethnic groups, races and religions, glorified Nazism and called for violence against specific people.”
Parler and Apple have engaged in “substantial conversations” since January, the letter said. As a result, of those conversations, Parler has proposed updates to its app and moderation process that meet with Apple’s approval.
The app can go live again immediately “upon Parler releasing it,” according to the letter.
Apple declined to comment on the letter and Parler did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
After getting booted from Big Tech platforms, the Nevada-based startup said it would run “sustainable, independent technology and not reliant on so-called ‘Big Tech’ for its operations.” It went dark for about a month and returned online in February after booting its co-founder John Matze.
Parler also sued Amazon twice — alleging antitrust violations and for kicking it off its Amazon Web Services hosting platform. Parler dropped the antitrust complaint, but moved forward with a complaint alleging that Amazon’s decision to kick it off AWS was “politically motivated.”
There is no indication that Parler been allowed onto Google’s platform again.