Parler, a social networking app reportedly used to coordinate the recent attack on the Capitol, has been unceremoniously shut down this week after Apple, Google, and Amazon all banned the service for breaking its terms and inciting violence.
Parler always marketed itself as “the free speech social network,” but in reality became a stomping ground for political extremists with views too toxic for mainstream social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. The service is infamous for fanning the flames of bizarre conspiracy theories, antisemitism, and far right-wing extremism, and has been known to censor posts that don’t align with its prevailing viewpoints.
Since hitting the news over the past week for its role in the Capitol attack, the app initially shot up the App Store charts before receiving a warning from Apple and ultimately being removed entirely.
After a flurry of complaints, Apple gave Parler 24 hours to shore up its moderation efforts and remove “objectionable content” including posts encouraging violence, the planning of “illegal and dangerous activities,” and even plans to execute Vice President Mike Pence. When Parler refused to play ball, Apple removed it from the App Store.
Users of the app were allegedly planning a second attack to take place before the upcoming presidential inauguration. It will be interesting to see whether shutting down the service will be enough to nip that suggestion in the bud.
Meanwhile, Google has also removed Parler from its Android Play Store and Amazon has withdrawn the use of the web services platform on which the social network runs. If even Google and Amazon think what you’re doing online is immoral, you’re probably doing something wrong. But Parler CEO John Matze called it a “coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the marketplace,” also noting that every other service out there is now refusing to touch his network. It’ll be a miracle if the app ever comes back online.