Apple reinstates Parler App after review

Parler said it has 'worked to put in place systems that will better detect unlawful speech'

Apple confirmed Monday that it will allow the conservative-friendly social network Parler back on its app store after it was temporarily forced offline following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. 

The decision, included in the letter sent to Congressman Ken Buck (R-Colo.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), was obtained by FOX Business.  Parler’s Interim CEO Mark Meckler thanked the two legislators for their efforts. In a statement, Meckler said their undertaking had "helped facilitate Parler’s re-launch on the App Store and has empowered Parler’s users to re-engage in the ability to freely express themselves and share ideas free of the viewpoint discrimination that they face on other platforms like Twitter and Facebook." 

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The tech giant approved proposed updates to the app, which will now comply with Apple's Terms of Service, according to the letter which has been made public on Twitter. Apple had notified Parler of its decision last week. 

"App Review Team has informed Parler as of April 14, 2021, that its proposed updated app will be approved for reinstatement to the App Store," Apple wrote. 

Parler’s Meckler acknowledged that the app has "worked to put in place systems that will better detect unlawful speech and allow users to filter content undesirable to them, while maintaining our strict prohibition against content moderation based on viewpoint."

Apple noted that ever since Parler was removed from the app store in January, Apple’s App Review Team had been working with Parler to bring it "into compliance with the Guidelines and reinstate it in the App Store." 

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The news comes just weeks after Apple CEO Tim Cook reiterated that he hoped the app would make its way back to the platform after undergoing necessary modifications "that's required to be on the store."

"I think having more social networks out there is better than having less," Cook said during the New York Times "Sway" podcast. Cook had previously noted that the app would be allowed back as long as it complied with Apple's Terms of Service.

Apple said Monday that the updated app should become immediately available for consumers "upon Parler releasing it." 

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Earlier this year, the app had been suspended from Apple and Google's app stores and kicked off of Amazon's web-hosting service for allegedly not moderating content relating to the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. 

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The unprecedented move from Apple resulted from the app's inability to take "adequate measures to address the proliferation" of threats of violence and illegal activity.

At the time, the App Reviews Board sent a letter to Parler executives explaining that their app would be "removed from the App Store until we receive an update that is compliant with the App Store Review Guidelines and you have demonstrated your ability to effectively moderate and filter the dangerous and harmful content on your service."

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In February, even after Parler re-launched online using a new web hosting service, Meckler, told FOX Business that it was in having "positive" ongoing conversations with Apple and expected to be back on its platform. 

"I expect we will be back on the App Store here pretty shortly," Meckler said on FOX Business' "Varney and Co" in February. 

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Like Apple, a Google spokesperson told FOX Business that the app "is welcome back in the Play store once it submits an app that complies" with the company's policies. However, Parler has yet to do so, the spokesperson added. 

In the meantime, "Parler has remained available on Android because of the openness of the platform even if it isn’t currently distributed through Google Play," the spokesperson said. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.