The iOS app for conservative-leaning social media platform Parler is back in the Apple App Store today, after what the company says were “months of productive dialogue with Apple.”
“The entire Parler team has worked hard to address Apple’s concerns without compromising our core mission,” Parler interim CEO Mark Meckler said in a statement emailed on Monday. “Anything allowed on the Parler network but not in the iOS app will remain accessible through our web-based and Android versions. This is a win-win for Parler, its users, and free speech.”
Parler, which bills itself as a free speech alternative to Facebook or Twitter, was banned by Apple and Google, and suspended by Amazon following the January 6th insurrection at the US Capitol. The companies said Parler had not adequately handled violent threats and hateful content on its platform that encouraged the riot.
Apple reaccepted Parler last month, after initially rejecting its application for re-entry in March; Apple said at the time Parler still had “highly objectionable content,” including Nazi imagery and other hate symbols. Parler says its algorithm can now “automatically detect violent or inciting content, while still preserving user privacy. Such content has always violated Parler’s guidelines.”
Parler remains banned in Google’s Play Store, although users can still sideload the app on Android. Parler sued Amazon, which had provided the site’s web hosting, but the suit has so far not fared well in court.
As Meckler noted in his statement, Parler’s iOS app adheres to Apple’s requirements and “excludes some content that Parler otherwise allows,” the company said in a press release. “However, that content is still visible, at the user’s discretion, on the web-based and Android versions of the platform.”
After the January deplatforming, Parler struggled to resurface on the web. Former CEO John Matze said at one point even the company’s vendors and lawyers had “ditched” him. Matze was fired in February, he said, by a board that included Rebekah Mercer, of the prominent conservative Mercer family.