In the midst of the riots that broke out in Washington this week, the application known as Parler was an important part of the conversation.
The role of this platform in the Capitol conflicts has not only been denounced by activist groups. According to ABC, several experts point out that the invasion of the US Congress could have been predicted days ago just by analyzing the conversation on various platforms. Parler was where the clearest posts of threats and violence were seen. However, similar elements could also be seen in apps like Twitter and TikTok.
It should be noted that Parler itself is a notably different case from other much more conventional platforms. According to Vox, this social network is characterized by investing almost nothing in content moderation efforts, as part of its value proposition. This has made it a place where radical and extremist voices can grow and develop an audience. He’s even compared to forums like 4Chan, also infamous for its community.
In this way, after the unfortunate events that occurred in the Capitol, hundreds of users spoke out against the aforementioned social network, claims that not only focused on criticizing the content shared within the platform, but also became a requirement towards Google and Apple for the application to be removed from their respective app stores.
The activist group has published a series of screenshots of Parler users who were dedicated to posting messages promoting violence on the social network. Specifically, they have called on other users to physically assault federal administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence. In the opinion of Sleeping Giants, this action is against the terms and conditions of service of both the Play Store and its counterpart on iOS.
Now both Apple and Google seem to have listened to users, with which both platforms have decided to block the aforementioned app.
In a statement issued by a Google spokesperson to Business Insider, the brand explained that “We are aware that messages continue to be posted on the Parler app that seek to incite violence in the United States. We acknowledge that there may be a reasonable debate on content policies and that it may be difficult for applications to immediately remove all violent content, but for us to distribute an application through Google Play, we require applications to implement robust moderation against blatant content“, While highlighting that” in light of this continuing and urgent threat to public safety, we will suspend the publication of the application in the Play Store until these problems are solved. “
Along the same lines, Apple decided to issue a warning to Parler, stating that it could remove the App if it does not implement a content moderation plan within the next 24 hours.
“We have received numerous complaints about questionable content on their Parler service, allegations that the Parler app was used to plan, coordinate and facilitate illegal activities in Washington DC on January 6, 2021 that led (among other things) to the loss of lives, numerous injuries and the destruction of property, “Apple told Parler, according to BuzzFeed, adding:” The app also appears to continue to be used to plan and facilitate even more illegal and dangerous activities. “