Parler Returns to Apple’s App Store, Names New CEO

Woman holding smartphone with Parler logo in front of displayed same logo in this illustration taken May 17, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Parler, a social media app popular with U.S. conservatives, returned to Apple Inc’s App Store on Monday, after the iPhone maker dropped it following the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Parler also named George Farmer, the company’s chief operating officer since March, as its new chief executive and said interim CEO Mark Meckler would be leaving.

Apple said last month it would readmit Parler into its iOS App Store, after Parler proposed updates to its app and content moderation policies. 

“The entire Parler team has worked hard to address Apple’s concerns without compromising our core mission,” said Meckler in an emailed statement. 

“Anything allowed on the Parler network but not in the iOS app will remain accessible through our web-based and Android versions. This is a win-win for Parler, its users, and free speech.”

The Washington Post said Parler’s Chief Policy Officer Amy Peikoff likened the iOS version of the app to a “Parler Lite or Parler PG.” Parler is still pushing Apple to allow users to see hate speech behind a warning label, the newspaper reported.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Several tech companies cut ties with Parler after the Capitol riot, accusing the app backed by prominent Republican Party donor Rebekah Mercer of failing to police violent content on its service.

Parler went dark for about a month after Inc suspended web-hosting services. Parler returned online in February with Los Angeles-based private cloud infrastructure SkySilk. Amazon Web Services declined to comment on Monday. 

Alphabet Inc’s Google also removed Parler from its app store. 

“Parler has remained available on Android because of the openness of the platform even if it isn’t currently distributed through Google Play,” a Google spokesman said on Monday.

“As we stated back in January, Parler is welcome back in the Play store once it submits an app that complies with our content moderation policies, which preclude things like physical threats to individuals and inciting violence.”

Parler co-founder and CEO John Matze was fired by the board earlier this year. In an emailed statement Parler said new CEO Farmer had been an active financial supporter and candidate for UK’s Brexit Party and “remains actively involved in business and politics on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford; Editing by Richard Chang; Reuters


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