Parler to return to Apple App Store, says letter to Utah senator

Local Politics

FILE – In this Jan. 10, 2021, file photo, the website of the social media platform Parler is displayed in Berlin. John Matze said Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 he has been fired as CEO of Parler, which was among social media services used to plan the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump. (Christophe Gateau/dpa via AP, File)

WASHINGTON (ABC4) – The Parler app will be returning to the Apple App Store, according to a letter the company sent to one of Utah’s senators.

In the days after the Jan. 6 violence in the U.S. Capitol, the self-described “free speech social media” platform was removed from app stores and lost its online service provider. Companies like Google cited user safety, saying it removed Parler until developers added moderation policies to remove posts that incite violence.

Soon after, Apple did the same.

In late March, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Representative Ken Buck (R-Colo.) sent a letter to the CEOs of Google, Apple, and Amazon questioning actions their companies took against Parler.

On Monday, Apple sent a letter to Sen. Lee and Rep. Buck, saying the app will likely be available in its App Store soon.

The letter reads in part:

“In the period since Apple removed the Parler app from the App Store, Apple’s App Review Team has engaged in substantial conversations with Parler in an effort to bring the Parler app into compliance with the Guidelines and reinstate it in the App Store. As a result of those conversations, Parler has proposed updates to its app and the app’s content moderation practices, and the App Review Team has informed Parler as of April 14, 2021, that its proposed updated app will be approved for reinstatement to the App Store. Apple anticipates that the updated Parler app will become available immediately upon Parler releasing it.”

You can read the full letter sent to Sen. Lee below:

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What is Parler?

Parler is a social media app that bills itself as a place of “free speech,” and it’s become particularly popular with conservatives following the presidential election — particularly since Facebook and Twitter started flagging untrue posts.

In November, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz were found to be on the platform.

The app launched in 2018 as an alternative to the more high-profile platforms. It’s pretty similar to Twitter. On Parler, posts can be replied to with comments and also “echoed” — which is similar to a retweet.

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