Apple to senator: Parler to return to App Store

Protecting Yourself Online

FILE – In this Jan. 10, 2021, file photo, the website of the social media platform Parler is displayed in Berlin. John Matze said Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 he has been fired as CEO of Parler, which was among social media services used to plan the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump. (Christophe Gateau/dpa via AP, File)

WASHINGTON (KTVX) — The Parler app will be returning to the App Store, according to a letter Apple sent to one of Utah’s senators.

In the days after the January 6 violence in the U.S. Capitol, the self-described “free speech social media” platform was removed from app stores and lost its online service provider. Companies such as Google cited user safety, saying it removed Parler until developers added moderation policies to remove posts that incite violence.

Soon after, Apple did the same. In late March, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo. sent a letter to the CEOs of Google, Apple, and Amazon questioning actions their companies took against Parler. On Monday, Apple sent a letter to Lee and Buck, saying the app will likely be available in its App Store soon.

What is Parler?

Parler is a social media app that bills itself as a place of “free speech,” and it’s become particularly popular with conservatives following the presidential election and since Facebook and Twitter started flagging untrue posts.

In November, talk show host Sean Hannity, radio personality Mark Levin and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz were found to be on the platform.

The app launched in 2018 as an alternative to the more high-profile platforms. It’s pretty similar to Twitter. On Parler, posts can be replied to with comments and also “echoed”—which is similar to a retweet.

You can read the full letter sent to Lee below:

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