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US Capitol riots: Apple, Amazon remove Parler social media app from App Store, web hosting service

Parler is favored by many supporters of US President Donald Trump and is seen as a haven for people expelled from Twitter

twitter-logoReuters | January 10, 2021 | Updated 11:14 IST
US Capitol riots: Apple, Amazon remove Parler social media app from App Store, web hosting service

Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc have suspended Parler from their respective App Store and web hosting service, saying the social networking service that many right-leaning social media users have flocked to has not taken adequate measures to prevent the spread of posts inciting violence.

The action by Apple and Amazon follows a similar move by Alphabet Inc's Google on Friday. Parler is favored by many supporters of US President Donald Trump, who was permanently suspended from Twitter on Friday, and it is seen as a haven for people expelled from Twitter.

"We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues," Apple said in a statement Saturday. Apple had given Parler 24 hours to submit a detailed moderation plan, pointing to participants' using the service to coordinate Wednesday's siege of the US Capitol.

Parler Chief Executive John Matze lashed out at Apple, saying the iPhone maker was banning the service until it gives up free speech and institutes "broad and invasive policies like Twitter and Facebook."

Amazon has suspended Parler from its Amazon Web Services (AWS) unit, for violating AWS's terms of services by failing to effectively deal with a steady increase in violent content on the social networking service, BuzzFeed News reported late on Saturday.

AWS did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment. AWS plans to suspend Parler's account effective Sunday, at 11:59 p.m. PST, according to an email by an AWS Trust and Safety team to Parler seen by BuzzFeed.

Matze, in a post on Parler responding to the Apple suspension, said, "They claim it is due to violence on the platform. The community disagrees as we hit number 1 on their store today," Matze said in a post on Parler.

"More details about our next plans coming soon as we have many options," Matze said.

In addition to Parler, right-leaning social media users in the United States have flocked to messaging app Telegram and hands-off social site Gab, citing the more aggressive policing of political comments on mainstream platforms such as Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc.

Google, in its announcement Friday that it was suspending Parler, said that Parler must demonstrate "robust" content moderation if it wants to get back in the store.

Also read: Increasing cyber-attacks show why stringent cyber-security laws are need of the hour 

Also read: Apple made $64 bn from App Store in Covid-hit 2020: Report

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