Update: Amazon and Apple joined Google in the coordinated Big-Tech attack on Parler by revoking web hosting services for the free speech social network, BuzzFeed News reported.
Parler CEO John Matze described the recent actions against his company as a “coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the marketplace.”
“Sunday (tomorrow) at midnight Amazon will be shutting off all of our servers in an attempt to completely remove free speech off the internet,” he said in a post on Parler. “There is the possibility Parler will be unavailable on the internet for up to a week as we rebuild from scratch. We prepared for events like this by never relying on amazons proprietary infrastructure and building bare metal products.”
Apple followed Google’s lead and removed Parler’s app from the App Store.
“We have always supported diverse points of view, but there is no place on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity,” Apple said, according to the New York Times. “Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety.”
The Original Story: Google on Friday removed the application for the free speech social media platform Parler from the Google Play Store, preventing Android users from downloading the app, Reclaim the Net reported.
“In order to protect user safety on Google Play, our longstanding policies require that apps displaying user-generated content have moderation policies and enforcement that removes egregious content like posts that incite violence,” Google said in a statement. “All developers agree to these terms and we have reminded Parler of this clear policy in recent months.”
Google said Parler must address its concerns but did not offer publicly disclose specific requests.
“We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the US. We recognize that there can be reasonable debate about content policies and that it can be difficult for apps to immediately remove all violative content, but for us to distribute an app through Google Play, we do require that apps implement robust moderation for egregious content,” the statement continued.
Apple said on Friday that it will remove Parler from the App Store unless it will be “responsible for all the user generated content,” an unattainable standard that Apple itself does not uphold with its own products, Reclaim the Net reported.
Apple said Parler committed “serious App Store guideline violations” by allowing “objectionable content” on its network.
The tech monopoly accused Parler of being “used to plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal activities in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021.”
Apple said Parler would 24 hours to “detailed information” about adopting so-called moderation practices, i.e. censorship, to prevent “this kind of objectionable content going forward.”
That deadline has been met without a public announcement.
Parler CEO John Matze said Apple’s requests do not apply evenly to all apps.
“Apparently they believe Parler is responsible for ALL user generated content on Parler. Therefore by the same logic, Apple must be responsible for ALL actions taken by their phones,” he said. “Every car bomb, every illegal cell phone conversation, every illegal crime committed on an iPhone, Apple must also be responsible for.”
Apple and Google want to maintain the Section 230 standard for themselves—that companies which provide public squares do not bear responsibility for the discussions therein—while holding Parler and other free-speech networks to a higher standard.
Violence, child pornography, and all forms of criminality flow daily through Gmail and Apple Mail, the email services that Apple and Google provide, and the companies do not bear responsibility.
Matze denied the accusation that Parler does not moderate its content according to Apple’s standards.
“We will not cave to pressure from anti-competitive actors! We will and always have enforced our rules against violence and illegal activity,” he said. “But we WON’T cave to politically motivated companies and those authoritarians who hate free speech!”
As Big Tech companies try to destroy alternatives to their oligopoly, Parler hit the number one most-downloaded spot on the App Store, Fox Business reported.
Downloads on Saturday are expected to hit 1.5 million.
— Appfigures (@appfigures) January 9, 2021