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Controversial social media app Parler is back on the Google Play Store


Parler, the app that’s largely associated with Donald Trump supporters, conservatives and far-right extremists, is once again available for download via the Google Play Store. Billing itself as a “free speech network”, Parler was banned and removed from the Android app store in January [2021] after the US Capitol insurrection. A Google spokesperson said at the time that the removal was due to the app’s lack of “moderation policies and enforcement that remove egregious content like posts that incite violence.”

A Google spokesperson said “As we’ve long stated, apps are able to appear on Google Play provided they comply with Play’s developer policies. All apps on Google Play that feature user generated content (UGC) are required to implement robust moderation practices that prohibit objectionable content, provide an in-app system for reporting objectionable UGC, take action against that UGC where appropriate, and remove or block abusive users who violate the app’s terms of use and/or user policy.”

Parler has made substantial modifications to its app to comply with Google’s policies. Bloomberg and Axios have reported that the apps’ developers have implemented policies to moderate content and remove posts that incite violence, which made it compliant with Google’s requirements. Despite its suspension and delisting from the Android app store, people could still download Parler from the company’s website and continue to use it.

Parler was reinstated to the iOS app store in May this year, after modifying its AI-based moderation tool to hide content it identifies as “hate.” Donald Trump’s “Truth Social” has been available on the iOS store since February, although it has yet to launch on Android. Google reportedly has yet to approve that app due to concerns over its violations of standards and inadequate moderation policies.

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