Late-night yesterday Google inc. Removed the Parler social media app from its Play store, citing that it fails to comply with its content moderation policies. Soon after, Apple too threatened to suspend the app from its store if the moderation policies were not modified. Many people called this a draconian crackdown on free speech, while others called it a much-needed step to clamp down on violent comments resurfacing on the app in the wake and buildup of the U.S. capitol incident. Read on to know all the details.
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Parler- freedom of speech or a harbor for right-wing extremists?
Parler is a french word, meaning speak. Styling itself as an unbiased and free speech platform, John Matze created it in 2018.
The owners, except the founder, john matze, have not been disclosed as yet. The platform has gained quite a lot of popularity in recent years, with an estimated ten million users, out of which four million are active.
However, there is a popular belief that the platform acts as a harbor for right-wing extremists who have been banned from other popular sites like Facebook and Twitter for violating community norms.
Parler has also been criticized because it is actually much more restrictive than it lets on. Some journalists claim that the platform’s content policies are much more violative than other sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Left-wing content makers known to have a different standpoint than the platform’s prevalent view have allegedly been banned from the site. Some parody accounts are also said to be banned on the platform.
The platform is often branded as a base for Donald Trump supporters, conservatives, conspiracy theorists, and right-wing extremists. A large amount of far-right content is regularly seen on the platform. Many conspiracy theories, like QAnon, etc., have also been propagated on the platform without check.
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Why has the recent crackdown by Apple and Google occurred?
Many journalists and users worldwide criticized the platform for not censoring the violence-inciting posts leading up to the capital seized by the Donald Trump-supporting mob.
Many people felt that the platform failed to check the original content on it. This, in turn, a major role in inciting violence among the people.
After the widespread uproar over this, Apple noticed the platform this Friday that if their content is not moderated, the app would be suspended from the apple app store.
Soon after, google took down the app from the play store. Stating that the app failed to restrict violent content failed to comply with the community norms.
There has been no statement from the founder’s side as yet. We’ll keep you updated if something else unfolds.
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