The rise and fall of American right-wing social media app Parler in the last 72 hours
When Twitter showed no signs of relenting in flagging tweets that violate its policies, including those of US President Donald Trump, several Republican politicians started pushing the social media platform Parler as an alternative. From Ted Cruz and Jim Jordan to Elise Stefanik and Nikki Haley, many joined the platform which was founded by computer scientists John Matze in 2018.
Parler calls itself "an unbiased social media focused on real user experiences and engagement."
Number of users on the platform increased from 1 million to more than 1.5 million over the course of about one week. The Wall Street Journal last week said the Trump administration was in search of alternatives to Facebook and Twitter over fears that these two platforms could flag or remove more content as the election approaches.
However, this sudden growth also put the 27-year-old Matze, who is also the CEO of Parler, in a peculiar position as he did not want the platform to be seen as an echo chamber for pro conservatives.
Yesterday, Parler was the #1 free app in the iOS App Store, up from #1,023 on November 2. and also #1 in the Google Play rankings, up from #486 the previous week.
But on Jan 10, Amazon blocked Parler from its hosting site Amazon Web Servies. And now Google has taken down Parler, a which is now being called a social media app for "far-right extremists", from its Play Store. The tech giant acted after it found that Parler did not take stronger action to remove posts that sought "to incite ongoing violence" in the US, reports Axios. "We're aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the US," Google said in a statement. "In light of this ongoing and urgent public safety threat, we are suspending the app's listings from the Play Store until it addresses these issues".
After Google, tech giant Apple on Sunday took down Parler from its App Store over encouraging violence in the US. The Cupertino-based tech giant gave an ultimatum to Parler on Friday to moderate its app or be removed. "Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people's safety. We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues," Apple said in a statement.
"Parler has not upheld its commitment to moderate and remove harmful or dangerous content encouraging violence and illegal activity, and is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines," it added.
Parler CEO John Matze posted a statement, accusing Apple of applying a "horrible double standard" in its decision. "Apple, Google and the rest of the anti-competitive pack of big tech tyrants coordinate their moves and work together to stifle competition in the marketplace," Matze said.
*Edited from IANS reports