Controversial social media app Parler is back on the Google Play Store

Parler, the app widely associated with Donald Trump supporters, conservatives and far-right extremists, is once again available for download on the Google Play Store. Parler, which billed itself as a “free speech network,” was banned and removed from the Android App Store in January [2021] after the riot in the US Capitol. A Google spokesman said at the time the removal was due to the app’s lack of “moderation policies and enforcement mechanisms that remove egregious content, such as posts inciting violence.”

A Google spokesman said: “As we have long explained, apps can appear on Google Play as long as they comply with Play’s developer guidelines. All apps on Google Play that contain user-generated content (UGC) must implement strict moderation practices that prohibit explicit content, provide an in-app system for reporting explicit UGC, take action against such UGC where appropriate, and remove or Block abusive users who violate the app’s Terms of Service and/or User Policies.”

Parler has made significant changes to its app to comply with Google’s guidelines. Bloomberg and axios have reported that the developers of the apps have implemented policies to moderate content and remove posts that incite violence, making it compliant with Google’s requirements. Despite the suspension and removal from the Android App Store, people were still able to download Parler from the company’s website and continue using it.

Parler was reinstated on the iOS App Store in May this year after modifying its AI-based moderation tool to hide content it identifies as “hate.” Donald Trump’s “Truth Social” has been available on the iOS store since February, but has yet to come out on Android. Google is reportedly yet to approve this app due to concerns about its standards violations and inadequate moderation policies.

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