Tim Cook has said that Parler, a micro-blogging app that saw a sudden surge of popularity after Twitter blocked Trump, could return to the App Store if it complies with Apple’s rules.
Cook comments on Parler
Cook said so in an interview with CBSNews on Wednesday morning:
Parler has some issues with moderation. Our hope is that they do that and get back on the store. We suspended them, we did not ban them. We have Terms of Service for our App Store, and some of those Terms of Service he’s in violation of. All we’re asking is he meet the Terms of Service.
Whether or not Parler introduces moderation is an entirely different question.
Moderation on Parler
I don’t think Parler will be returning to the App Store anytime soon.
They are a small team with limited funding. To moderate tons of content that its users share, it would need to hire dozens of moderators. Even if it successfully implemented moderation, hateful comments could still creep in and escape the attention of moderators.
Apple made it clear in its email to Parler last week that they’re responsible for user posts:
We want to be clear that Parler is in fact responsible for all the user generated content present on your service and for ensuring that this content meets App Store requirements for the safety and protection of our users. We won’t distribute apps that present dangerous and harmful content.
How Big Tech deplatformed Parler
Apple on Friday gave Parler developers a very limited time to enact a form of moderation on its platform or face banishment from the App Store. The ultimatum came following the shocking insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that was provoked by President Trump’s incendiary rhetoric.
After developers failed to comply with the request, tech giants Apple, Google and Amazon simultaneously deplatformed the software the following day. Big Tech cited proliferations of threats of violence on the platform following the insurrection, as well as lack of moderation, as the key reasons for suspending Parler. Followng the removal, CEO John Matze was quoted as saying that he doesn’t “feel responsible for any of this and neither should the platform.”