Apple sign of the Apple store is seen on December 28, 2020 in Hamburg, Germany.

Source:  Ashe Schow

Megacompany Apple is threatening to remove social networking service Parler from its App Store unless the company starts moderating its platform more harshly.

Reuters reported that Parler, billed as an alternative to Twitter without the left-wing bias, received the letter from Apple Friday evening following Big Tech’s crackdown on President Donald Trump and his supporters. Buzzfeed published portions of the letter sent by Apple, which demanded Parler update its moderation policies to ban users from planning to storm the U.S. Capitol like what happened on Wednesday.

“We have received numerous complaints regarding objectionable content in your Parler service, accusations that the Parler app was used to plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal activities in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021 that led (among other things) to loss of life, numerous injuries, and the destruction of property,” Apple wrote in the letter. “The app also appears to continue to be used to plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities.”

Apple then made its threat, “to ensure there is no interruption of the availability of your app on the App Store,” demanding Parler update its app and submit to Apple a “requested moderation improvement plan within 24 hours of the date of the message.”

Parler CEO John Matze called Apple “authoritarian,” saying the company already enforces rules such as those demanded by Apple.

“We will not cave to pressure from anti-competitive actors! We will and always have enforced our rules against violence and illegal activity. But we WONT cave to politically motivated companies and those authoritarians who hate free speech!” Matze wrote on Parler.

“Anyone who buys an Apple phone is apparently a user. Apperently [sic] they know what is best for you by telling you which apps you may and may not use,” he also said.

Apple added that recent content on Parler has crossed a line and should be moderated.

“Content of this dangerous and harmful nature is not appropriate for the App Store. As you know from prior conversations with App Review, Apple requires apps with user generated content to effectively moderate to ensure objectionable, potentially harmful content is filtered out,” Apple wrote. “Content that threatens the well being of others or is intended to incite violence or other lawless acts has never been acceptable on the App Store.”

To be clear, Apple has not sent similar warnings to Twitter regarding its continued allowance of Chinese Communist Party propaganda or Ayatollah Khamenei’s repeated calls for the eradication of Israel.

Here is the full text of Apple’s letter:

We require your immediate attention regarding serious App Store guideline violations that we have found with your app, Parler.

We have received numerous complaints regarding objectionable content in your Parler service, accusations that the Parler app was used to plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal activities in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021 that led (among other things) to loss of life, numerous injuries, and the destruction of property. The app also appears to continue to be used to plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities.

Our investigation has found that Parler is not effectively moderating and removing content that encourages illegal activity and poses a serious risk to the health and safety of users in direct violation of your own terms of service, found here: https://legal.parler.com/documents/Elaboration-on-Guidelines.pdf

Examples of these complaints can be viewed on these links:

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