Google removes Parler, the Twitter alternative for Trump followers, from the Play Store

January 8, 2021 | 7:37 pm

Parler, the alternative platform to Twitter preferred by the conservative right in the United States, including supporters of Donald Trump, was left out of the Play Store, Google’s application store, because it has not removed posts that incite violence.

“To protect the safety of users on Google Play, our long-standing guidelines require apps that display user-generated content to have moderation policies that remove outrageous content, such as posts that incite violence,” said a spokesperson for Google a Politico reporter.

“All developers agree to abide by those terms and we have reminded Parler of this clear policy in recent months. We are aware of continuous publications in the Parler app that seek to incite violence in the US (…) Given the urgent and continuing threat to public safety, we are suspending the listing of the app in the Play Store until these problems are resolved ”.

This Friday, Apple also issued an ultimatum to Parler to moderate content in the app or it would be removed from the App Store, Buzfeed News reported.

Parler is no longer available in the Play Store, but until the publication of this note it was still present in the App Store. The social network is still available in other stores for Android and on the web.

Twitter suspended Donald Trump’s account permanently on Friday after the violent events recorded on Wednesday in the Capitol, when supporters of the republican president stormed the precinct to stop the confirmation of the triumph of Joe Biden.

While the mob invasion of the Capitol was unprecedented, there were plenty of warnings in the days leading up to it. Many Trump supporters who traveled to the capital shared plans and organized on sites like Parler.

Some cartels discussed ways to smuggle weapons into Washington. In a post in Parler, the leader of the extremist group Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, promised the group’s attendance at Wednesday’s demonstration. Tarrio was arrested Monday in Washington for destroying property during a protest last month and possessing a firearm magazine. He pleaded not guilty but was ordered to leave the city on Tuesday.

Joe Biggs, an organizer for the Proud Boys, said more than 65 members of his group attended the protests, but he did not know if any of them had entered the Capitol. He added that he advised other members to avoid confrontations with the police.

On Twitter, as of Jan. 1, there were 1,480 posts from accounts related to the QAnon conspiracy theory movement that referenced Trump’s Jan. 6 rally and contained references to violence, said a former intelligence official who monitors extremists. in social networks. These included calls for a “patriotic uprising.”

Convinced that Donald Trump’s elections were stolen and irritated by the moderation of the Republican president’s messages on Twitter and Facebook, the conservative right in the United States migrated to so-called “alternative” platforms after the November 3 elections.

The main beneficiary of this phenomenon was the social network Parler, whose application was downloaded more than 3 million times from Apple and Google online stores in the seven days after the elections, which represented 41% of installations since its launch, according to the specialized site SensorTower.

Given the zero moderation on the platform, misleading or false posts easily proliferated, including those from users who claimed in them, without evidence, that there were massive electoral fraud in numerous key states to put the president at a disadvantage, which he failed to obtain a second term.

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