Far-right app gets another chance after it was shut down over Capitol riot
Millions will regain access to Parler when it returns to the Apple app store.
Apple is reportedly planning to restore access to the social media app Parler in its app store, despite its role in helping to organize the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
In a letter sent from Apple to Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) on Monday, the company said it “anticipates that the updated Parler app will become available immediately upon Parler releasing it.”
Parler was removed from Apple’s store just days after the Capitol attack, in addition to being kicked off Amazon’s servers and booted from the Google Play app store.
Restoring Parler to Apple’s app store would again make the program available to over 100 million current iPhone users.
Apple acknowledged the role Parler playing in plotting the attack in a letter sent to the company in January.
Apple wrote that Parler was “used to plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal activities in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021 that led (among other things) to loss of life, numerous injuries, and the destruction of property.”
CEO Tim Cook also specifically took note of Parler’s role in the riot while discussing the ban.
“We looked at the incitement to violence that was on there,” Cook said in a Jan. 17 interview. “We don’t consider that free speech and incitement to violence has an intersection.”
On Jan. 21, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), chair of the House Oversight Committee, wrote to the FBI to request an investigation of Parler.
Maloney described the company’s network as “a potential facilitator of planning and incitement related to the violence” on Jan. 6. Maloney also noted Parler’s role as a “repository of key evidence posted by users on its site” during and after the attack.
Maloney added that Parler is a “potential conduit for foreign governments who may be financing civil unrest in the United States.”
Before the attack, Parler was promoted by key Republican leaders as an alternative to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
“It’s about time y’all joined me on @parler_app,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) wrote in June 2020.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) hailed Parler in a June 2020 tweet, writing, “They don’t censor or shadow ban.”
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) also promoted Parler via his Twitter account.
Other prominent Republicans, like then-Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale and scions Eric and Lara Trump were also prominent Parler users.
The desire to be connected to pro-Trump figures led Parler to reportedly offer a 40% stake in the company to Trump in exchange for joining the service and Trump was permanently banned from Twitter in January for “incitement of violence.”
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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