UPDATED 6:57 AM PT – Saturday, January 9, 2021
A social networking service known as Parler is facing immense pressure from big tech companies to strengthen its content moderation policies.
On Friday, Google and Apple both suspended Parler from their app stores, claiming some of the political posts on the platform incite violence and need to be regulated. A spokesperson for Google said the suspension will remain in place until developers submit a detailed content moderation plan and address what he called a “public safety threat.”
The company noted that the measure will not impact Parler’s availability on the web, nor will it remove the app from the devices of existing users.
Meanwhile, Apple has taken a more aggressive approach, giving Parler 24 hours to improve its content moderation or be removed indefinitely from the app store.
Now Apple & Google are threatening to ban Parler to stop people from going to any alternative platform.
They are creating a monopoly. They want NO IDEAS or CONVERSATIONS that they are not able to control.
They do not want conservatives communicating with one another.
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) January 9, 2021
Though founded in 2018, Parler recently made a name for itself as the social media alternative for those who have been banned from or silenced on the major social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Parler isn’t a “Right wing” app, it just protects freedom of speech. It’s viewpoint neutral.
That’s what our digital overlords are so worried about: free expression. Democrats can’t allow a place to share ideas without their thumb on the scale.
Worth asking why
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) January 9, 2021
Some noteworthy users include Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who turned to the platform earlier this year after their voices were largely silenced elsewhere.
In the midst of the recent ban, many agree Silicon Valley has gone too far.
“We can’t just revoke someone’s voice because we don’t agree with what they say,” University of Buffalo Professor Monica Stephens said.
Despite the threats, Parler CEO John Matze is standing his ground, assuring he will not comply with Apple and Google’s demands. He went on to accuse the companies of applying standards to Parler that they don’t apply to their own services.
He added that America “already lost if speech has to be restricted or censored in order to keep the country safe.”