On Monday, Apple wrote a letter to Republicans in the House and the Senate antitrust subcommittees saying that the social media app, Parler, will be returning to the App Store after the app made adjustments to be suitable for Apples standards.
On March 31, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) sent a letter to the head of Google, Apple, and Amazon, asking the tech giants to clarify specific questions that the legislatures had regarding the action taken against the free speech platform from its social networks.
The letter reads:
In just three days, Apple and Google effectively cut off Parler’s primary distribution channel, and Amazon cut off Parler’s access to critical computing services, leaving the company completely unable to serve its 15 million users. These actions were against a company that is not alleged to have violated any law. In fact, information provided by Parler to the House Oversight Committee revealed that Parler was assisting law enforcement even in advance of January 6th.
On Monday, Lee and Buck received a response from Timothy Powderly, the senior director of government affairs for the Americas at Apple. The letter answered specific questions that were raised by lawmakers.
Regarding its content policy, Apple stated that it “wants to provide a safe experience for users to get apps and a great opportunity for all developers to be successful. Apple does this in part by curating the App Store, including by reviewing apps to ensure compliance with all App Store Review Guidelines, which among other things set for standards for privacy safety, security, and performance of apps in the App Store.”
Specifically when it comes to addressing Parler, Apple’s letter stated that the company “has in the past communicated with Parler regarding failures in its content moderation efforts, as well as its desire stated at various times to not moderate content at all.” The letter went on to talk about its details about Apple’s guidelines that state “that apps should not be include offensive or discriminatory content, including that which is likely to humiliate, intimidate, or harm a targeted individual or group.”
Apple found that Parler was in violation of these policies, and they were given a 24 hour notice to remove such content or they would be kicked off the app store, which on January 8, the app was removed. And along came Amazon removing its servers from Parler, forcing them to find another server that will welcome them.