Parler will let the mobile social media app Apple Inc. back on the App Store after an almost four-month absence, the iPhone maker told U.S. lawmakers in advance of a congressional antitrust hearing later this week.
The Colorado-based technology giant has made the disclosure in a letter to Senator Ken Buck, a Republican from Utah and Representative Mike Lee, a Republican from Cupertino, California. The social media app was removed from the App Store in January after it was one of the online networks used to incite violence at the Capitol in Washington. At the time, Apple said it would consider reinstating the app for violating content guidelines and said it would consider pulling the service if Parler made changes to better moderate content.
On Monday, Google also indicated that it would allow Parler to be reinstated on the Google Play Store if the app meets the guidelines of Alphabet Inc.'s plan. Parler is welcome back in the Play store if it has an app that complies with Google's policies, said a spokesperson of Google. The company added that the app had remained available via other channels on Android despite the January demonetization from Google Play.
Apple told the officials of the government in its letter that it found posts on Parler that denigrated various ethnic groups, races and religions, called Nazism and encouraged violence. Since the initial rejection, as well as withdrawals of other updates, Apple has engaged in substantial conversations with Parler in an effort to reinstate the Parler app in the App Store and bring it into compliance with the guidelines, the company said in the letter.
Read more: Apple blocks Parler with Offensive Content Return to the App Store?
Since Parler has proposed content modification changes, Apple said it informed the social network on April 14 that it would approve a forthcoming update. The letter did n't specify the changes, but Apple said that it requires apps to block abusive content, provide a way for users to report offensive content, offer the ability to block abusive users and list contact information so that users can reach the developer. In a letter written by Senior Director of Government Affairs for the Americas Timothy Powderly on Monday, Google said it had originally decided to remove Parler independently and that it did not coordinate with Google or Amazon.com Inc., which prevented Parler from running on its cloud service.
Parler's decision to reinstate Apple comes ahead of a Wednesday hearing scheduled by the Subcommittee on Consumer Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is led by Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota.
Lee is the top Republican in the panel and Kyle Andeer, Apple's chief compliance officer, will speak at the hearing, the company said earlier this month. Apple's power over the cost, distribution and availability of mobile applications on the Apple devices used by millions of consumers raises serious competition issues that are of interest to the subcommittee, consumers and app developers. The senators wrote to Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook before the hearing.
A full and fair examination of these issues before the subcommittee requires Apple's participation. For more articles like this, please visit bloomberg.com at bloomberg.com.
From a business perspective, it is about social media.