Parler, the free speech alternative to Facebook, will be coming back to Apple’s app store.
Apple informed Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) of its decision in a letter dated April 19, 2021, that Buck shared on Twitter.
Rep. Buck calls the decision a “huge win for free speech.”
On March 31, @SenMikeLee and I sent a letter demanding answers about why Apple removed Parler from the App Store.
🚨Today, we received a response: Parler will be reinstated on the App Store. Huge win for free speech. pic.twitter.com/FQBDSSSFGk
— Congressman Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) April 19, 2021
Apple removed Parler from the app store in the wake of the January 6 Capitol riot, alleging, in part, that the violence on that day was coordinated on the app. However, this narrative was quickly debunked, as evidence emerged that violence had been coordinated on other social media apps like Twitter and Facebook, as well—but those apps were not removed from Apple app store or the Google Play store.
Apple’s letter explains that Parler’s new moderation practices qualify the app to be reinstated.
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.
It is not clear when the app will be made available on the Apple app store yet, and this decision was made independently, so it is not clear whether other app stores, like the Google Play store, will reinstate Parler.