Google pulls Parler from Play Store for fostering calls to violence

Google has suspended Parler from the Play Store, as first reported by Axios reporter Ashley Gold. We’ve confirmed the app is no longer on the store.

Here is the full statement, which was shared with The Verge:

In order to protect user safety on Google Play, our longstanding policies require that apps displaying user-generated content have moderation policies and enforcement that removes egregious content like posts that incite violence. All developers agree to these terms and we have reminded Parler of this clear policy in recent months. We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the US. We recognize that there can be reasonable debate about content policies and that it can be difficult for apps to immediately remove all violative content, but for us to distribute an app through Google Play, we do require that apps implement robust moderation for egregious content. 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.

Parler did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple has given an ultimatum to Parler to police its app or be removed sometime on Saturday, BuzzFeed News reported Friday evening. The app is still available on Apple’s App Store. Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Both Google and Apple have come under pressure to remove the app, which is known for having less moderation and as a conservative-friendly alternative to other social media platforms. The pressure comes two days after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, incited by President Trump.

Twitter permanently suspended Trump Friday evening, while Facebook placed an “indefinite” ban on Trump’s account on Thursday.

Update January 8th, 8:08PM ET: Added statement from Google.

Correction: We originally said that Politico reporter Cristiano Lima and New York Times reporter Jack Nicas were first to report that Google removed Parler, but Axios reporter Ashley Gold tweeted the news before they did. We regret the error.

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