Parler, the controversial conservative social media app, was denied re-entry to Apple Inc.’s App Store recently after it was launched from the platform in the wake of the Jan.6 riot on Capitol Hill, documents obtained by show. Bloomberg.
On Wednesday, Parler LLC removed its three remaining iOS developers, according to a person familiar with the matter. The company eliminated seven workers in total, most of whom were contractors. The rest of the staff worked on Parler TV and quality control, said the person, who asked not to be identified to discuss private matters.
When it initially removed Parler from the App Store in January, Apple asked the social network to change its moderation practices. Apple said Parler’s new community guidelines, released when the service came back online on February 15, were insufficient to comply with App Store rules.
“After we have reviewed the new information, we do not believe these changes are sufficient to meet the App Store review guidelines,” Apple wrote to Parler’s director of policy on February 25. “There is no place for hateful, racist and discriminatory content in the App Store.”
Apple included several screenshots to support the rejection. Some screenshots, reviewed by Bloomberg, show user profile images with swastikas and other white nationalist images, and usernames and posts that are misogynistic, homophobic, and racist.
“As you know, developers must implement strong moderation capabilities to proactively identify, prevent, and filter this objectionable content to protect the health and safety of users,” Apple added in its letter to Parler, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg.
“In fact, simple searches reveal highly objectionable content, including easily identifiable offensive uses of derogatory terms related to race, religion and sexual orientation, as well as Nazi symbols,” Apple wrote. “For these reasons, your app cannot be returned to the App Store for distribution until it meets the guidelines.”
The Parler community guidelines were written by Policy Director Amy Peikoff, according to two people familiar with the matter. Parler did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
Parler was disconnected after the riots in the United States Capitol. Amazon Web Services cut ties with Parler, and Google and Apple removed Parler from their mobile app stores. Parler’s website was relaunched in February with the support of cloud hosting company SkySilk Inc.