Apple has said it will allow Parler back on the App Store, citing improvements the “free speech” platform has made to better handle content Apple finds questionable.
Apple made its decision to reinstate known through a letter addressed to GOP legislators Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Ken Buck. The letter states that since its removal from the App Store, Parler “has proposed updates to its app and the app’s content moderation practices” that are in line with Apple’s policies.
The letter claims that, on April 14, Apple told Parler that the proposed changes were acceptable. All Parler needs to do is make the changes to the App.
“Apple anticipates that the updated Parler app will become available immediately upon Parler releasing it,” Apple’s letter said.
It’s worth noting that on Wednesday Apple will be called to testify in antitrust hearings to confront accusations that its App Store is a monopoly and that Apple engages in anti-competitive practices.
In a statement, Parler made clear that the version that’s released on the App Store will be a more heavily moderated version of Parler, while a more unrestricted version will be available on Android and on the web.
“While the App Store version of Parler will prohibit some posts that Parler allows, those posts will still remain visible on the web-based and Android versions of Parler,” the statement said.
Parler has touted itself as a free speech platform, providing an alternative to people fed up with the strict content moderation practices of mainstream platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
However, following the Jan 6 storming at the US Capitol, Amazon, Apple, and Google took action against Parler for its alleged involvement in inciting people to participate in the violent protests, despite the storming being organized on Facebook.
Google and Apple removed Parler’s mobile apps from the Play Store and the App Store. Amazon landed a major blow kicking Parler off the internet by withdrawing it from its web hosting service, AWS.
The social network came back online on February 15, after securing the services of an LA-based hosting provider, SkySilk.
Now, its users might soon be able to access a modified version of it via the iOS app.
Meanwhile, Parler is engaged in a legal war with Amazon, which it accuses of anti-competitive behavior and colluding with fellow Big Tech companies to force it off the market.
The Big Tech companies implicated have denied the accusations. In the letter, Apple said the removal of Parler from the App Store was “an independent decision” and it “did not coordinate or otherwise consult with Google or Amazon with respect to that decision.”
Google is yet to officially reinstate Parler on its Play Store. However, users can download the app on Parler’s official website. Unlike iOS, Android allows the installation of apps from third-party sources.