Apple and Google Cut Off Parler, an App That Drew Trump Supporters

Amazon helps Parler operate by hosting its web traffic on its servers, according to a group of Amazon employees. Those employees and at least one member of Congress have called on Amazon to cut Parler off from that service, which could threaten its ability to survive. Amazon didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Apple’s action is more of a problem for Parler than Google’s because Apple requires all iPhone apps to go through its App Store. Google cut Parler out of its flagship Android app store, but it also allows apps to be downloaded from elsewhere, meaning Android users can still find the Parler app, just with a bit more work. Parler is also still available via web browsers on phones and computers.

Before blocking Parler on Saturday, Apple had given the company 24 hours to improve its moderation to avoid removal from the App Store. Over that period, it appeared that Parler had tried to remove some posts that seemed to call for violence.

For instance, L. Lin Wood, a lawyer who had sued to overturn Mr. Trump’s election loss, posted on Parler on Thursday morning: “Get the firing squad ready. Pence goes FIRST.” The post was viewed at least 788,000 times, according to a screenshot on the Internet Archive. By Saturday morning, the post had been removed.

In a text message, Mr. Matze said the post had been removed “in compliance with Parler’s terms of service and rules against incitement of violence.” He said he wasn’t sure if Apple knew that Parler had removed the post.

In a notice to Parler on Saturday, Apple said that it had “continued to find direct threats of violence and calls to incite lawless action” on the app. Apple told the company its app would not be allowed on the App Store until “you have demonstrated your ability to effectively moderate and filter the dangerous and harmful content on your service.”

In an interview, Jeffrey Wernick, Parler’s chief operating officer, blamed “a cancel culture at Apple” for his company’s dimming prospects. He said he would advise other platforms not to try to compete on Apple’s App Store. “Because if you raise money and get investors and end up like Parler, what’s the point?” he said.

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