The conservative social media app Parler has been banned from Google and could soon be booted from Apple as well after an attack on the U.S. Capitol was connected to supporters of Donald Trump, some of whom reportedly shared plans for the attack on the platform.
As Axios reported, Google pulled the application from its store after the deadly attack. Multiple reports found that Parler users had warned of violence at a rally in favor of Donald Trump's unfounded claims of election fraud. At the rally, Trump implored his supporters to be "strong" and told them he would march with them to the U.S. Capitol. While Trump instead returned to the White House, crowds surrounded the building and eventually forced their way inside. The resulted in a siege that left five people dead, including a police officer who was reportedly bludgeoned to death.
In the wake of the incident, some tech giants took aim at Parler.
"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," said José Castañeda, a spokesperson for the tech giant. "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."
According to CNET, Apple told Parler that it would also ban the application from its store unless the site developed stronger policies to moderate its content. The site had billed itself as an alternative to Twitter, which banned a number of right-wing personalities for rules violations. Trump had claimed that the platform -- and other social media sites -- were biased against conservatives.
The news of the actions against Parler came at nearly the same time that Trump was permanently banned from Twitter. The platform had already temporarily suspended him following the Capitol siege when he posted a video in which he asked the rioters to leave -- but also continued making claims of voter fraud.Per Newsweek, Fox News host and longtime Trump ally Sean Hannity said on Thursday that the president already had an account on Parler, though the outlet noted he did not appear to have an active presence.
"I saw that the president had joined it. At least there is a place, it's like Twitter, it's called Parler, I have an account there... good for you because the president joined, because they are censoring him and Dan Scavino and everybody else," Hannity said.