Parler, the social media platform frequently used by right-wing extremists and conspiracy theorists, has been temporarily suspended from the Google Play store for lacking “robust moderation for egregious content,” Google said on Friday.
“In order to protect user safety on Google Play, our longstanding policies require that apps displaying user-generated content have moderation policies and enforcement that removes egregious content like posts that incite violence. All developers agree to these terms and we have reminded Parler of this clear policy in recent months,” a Google spokesperson told TheWrap.
“We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the US. We recognize that there can be reasonable debate about content policies and that it can be difficult for apps to immediately remove all violative content, but for us to distribute an app through Google Play, we do require that apps implement robust moderation for egregious content,” the spokesperson continued. “In light of this ongoing and urgent public safety threat, we are suspending the app’s listings from the Play Store until it addresses these issues.”
Representatives for Parler did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Parler CEO John Matze said on the platform that his company “will not cave to pressure from anti-competitive actors” and “politically motivated companies.”
Earlier on Friday, BuzzFeed News reported that Apple had threatened to permanently ban Parler from the App Store unless it created a “moderation improvement plan” within 24 hours of receiving Apple’s warning.
“We have received numerous complaints regarding objectionable content in your Parler service, accusations that the Parler app was used to plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal activities in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021 that led (among other things) to loss of life, numerous injuries, and the destruction of property,” Apple wrote in a letter to Parler, according to BuzzFeed News. “The app also appears to continue to be used to plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities.”
The social network service that was launched in 2018 has a very large user base of Donald Trump supporters, many of whom have been banned from other social platforms. It frequently contains far-right content and conspiracy theories.