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Parler Approved for Return to Apple App Store

The social media app favored by conservatives was removed in the wake of the Capitol riot

Apple told Congress Monday that Parler is welcome back on the iOS app store after the social media platform made a few changes that placated the tech company.

According to CNN, Apple wrote to Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Ken Buck to say that Parler is welcome again after it “has proposed updates to its app and the app’s content moderation practices.” Parler, the CNN-obtained letter said, was notified of this last week. Parler later confirmed to TheWrap it will be re-launching on the App Store next week.

“Parler has and will always be a free and open forum where users could engage in the free exchange of ideas in the full spirit of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution,” Parler interim CEO Mark Meckler said in a statement shared with TheWrap. “We have worked to put in place systems that will better detect unlawful speech and allow users to filter content undesirable to them, while maintaining our strict prohibition against content moderation based on viewpoint.”

Meckler also thanked Sen. Lee and Rep. Buck for their “hard work and commitment to the open exchange of ideas,” as well as the platform’s users for their “patience.”

A representative for Apple did no respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Parler, which has been adopted by many right-leaning users upset with Facebook and Twitter’s moderation policies, was booted from both Apple and Google’s app stores earlier this year. Amazon also stopped hosting the site in the wake of the Capitol riot in January.

At the time, Apple accused the upstart app of not taking “adequate measures” to address “threats of violence and illegal activity” that have cropped up in user comments in the wake of the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Parler, which had rocketed to be the No. 1 app on Apple’s App Store just before it was banned, was left scrambling to find a way to remain online.

“We will try our best to move to a new provider right now as we have many competing for our business, however Amazon, Google and Apple purposefully did this as a coordinated effort knowing our options would be limited and knowing this would inflict the most damage right as [then-president Donald Trump] was banned from the tech companies,” former Parler CEO John Matze said in a statement at the time. 

Parler has since returned online, after securing new web hosting, but has remained off Google and Apple’s app stores for months — severely restricting the app’s reach in the process.

This story was updated on Monday at 3:09 p.m. PT to include Parler’s statement.