Apple signals return of Parler app

Parler says it's implemented
Parler says it's implemented "several new safeguards" to protect against toxic content.

Apple says it's reached an agreement with the right-wing social app Parler that could lead to its reinstatement in the company's app store.

Apple kicked out Parler in January over ties to the deadly January 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol.

In a letter to two Republican lawmakers in Congress, Apple said it has been in " substantial conversations" with Parler over how the company planned to moderate content on its network.

Before its removal from the app store, Parler was a hotbed of hate speech, Nazi imagery, calls for violence - including violence against specific people - and conspiracy theories.

Apple declined to comment beyond the letter, which did not provide details on how Parler plans to moderate such content. In the letter, Apple said Parler's proposed changes would lead to approval of the app.

Parler said it has implemented "several new safeguards" designed to detect posts that "would not fall within the protections of the First Amendment" but added it did not make broad policy changes.

"While the App Store version of Parler will prohibit some posts that Parler allows, those posts will still remain visible on the web-based and Android versions of Parler," the company said in a statement.

The First Amendment does not apply to private companies such as Parler - it prohibits the government from making laws that impede free speech.

But this has not stopped people from claiming that social media companies violate their free speech rights by moderating content, or from "free speech" apps such as Parler from popping up to fill a perceived void of "censorship-free" discussion sites.

According to Apple's letter, Parler proposed changes to its app and how it moderated content. Apple said the updated app incorporating those changes should be available as soon as Parler released it.

Australian Associated Press