There’s been quite a bit of controversy around Parler. The free speech app was banned because Apple decided that they didn’t like what was happening on Parler. Again, again, Apple, a firm that has far reaching distribution, removed it from its Apple App store, crippling Parler’s infrastructure for quite some time.
But now Apple notes that it will take Parler back.
This latest news comes after Parler was dropped from the Apple App Store for quite a while. Here is what you must know about Parler coming back to the Apple App store.
Apple Requires Parler to Make Content Moderation a Priority
The firm noted the reasons for its Parler removal in a letter to Republican Congress representatives.
The firm aims to ensure that Parler keeps its content moderation policies at a higher standard. As such, Parler will come back with full steam over the last week of April 2021. Parler for its part noted that it would present an application that has more safeguards to ensure overall content moderation.
But Parler had issues with other companies, rather, other companies had issues with Parler. They took their respective actions to censor speech on Parler, a conservative application that seems to defend speech and provide a free speech platform for all.
Each of these companies noted that due to its failure to control its user base surrounding the Capitol incident in January, they would limit the application or block it completely.
Parler’s Censorship Poses Two Questions
That poses two questions. How much power should other companies have to censor speech and when did Apple or other firms become the arbiter of speech?
For instance, Apple noted that it saw Parler posts that were not in line with Apple’s policies around offensive or discriminatory user oriented content. It is interesting to note that while Apple will investigate Parler, it has not done so for applications such as Twitter, that has various types of content that could be considered offensive and not in line with Apple’s policy.
At what point, if you are Apple, do you say this has many offensive posts? Is there a number? Does it step in if it notices content that is offensive to a particular group of people? Are there different tiers?
That is an issue if Apple leans one way politically and other applications, that are more conservative, come under more scrutiny by being conservative.
Further if Apple becomes the enforcer of virtue, it also acts as if it is stamping out evil within the world. But if it professes to stamp out speech that calls for violence, it would have banned applications that had video footage of Democrat representatives calling for violence in 2020.
As Lincoln Steffens notes “morality is only moral when it is voluntary.”