Google suspends the Talking social network application from the Play Store; Apple gives 24 hour warning

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The Apple Inc logo hangs at the entrance to the Apple Store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, New York, United States, October 16, 2019. REUTERS / Mike Segar / File Photo

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Jan. 8 (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) suspended the social networking service Talking from its app store on Friday, citing posts inciting violence and demanding “robust” moderation of content on the web. application favored by many supporters of US President Donald Trump.

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) also gave the service 24 hours to submit a detailed moderation plan on Friday, indicating that attendees are using the service to coordinate Wednesday’s siege of the U.S. Capitol.

The actions of the two Silicon Valley companies mean that the network seen as a safe haven for those kicked out of Twitter could become unavailable for further uploads to the world’s major mobile app stores today. It would still be available in mobile browsers.

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Right-wing social media users in the United States have flocked to Speak, the Telegram messaging app, and the non-intervention social site Gab, citing the more aggressive police for political commentary on mainstream platforms such as Twitter Inc ( TWTR.N) and Facebook Inc (FB.O). Twitter permanently suspended President Trump’s account on Friday.

In suspending the service, Google, whose software powers Android phones, cited its policy against apps that promote violence and gave recent examples of Speaking, including a Friday article that began “How to Take Back Our Country? About 20 coordinated shots “and another promoting a” Million Militia March “in Washington.

Parler chief executive John Matze said in a post on Friday that Apple applied to Talking standards that it did not apply to itself.

In a statement, Google said that “in order for us to distribute an app through Google Play, we require the apps to implement robust moderation for blatant content. In light of this continuing and urgent threat to public safety, we Let’s suspend the Play Store app listings until it fixes these issues. “

In a letter from the Apple App Store review team to Parler seen by Reuters, Apple cited participants from the crowd storming the United States Capitol building on Wednesday.

“Content that threatens the well-being of others or that is intended to incite violence or other lawless acts has never been acceptable on the App Store,” Apple said in the letter.

Apple has given Speak 24 Hours to “remove objectionable content from your app … as well as any content that refers to personal injury or attacks on government facilities, now or at a future date.” The company also asked Parler to submit a written plan “to moderate and filter this content” from the app.

Apple declined to comment.

Matze, who describes himself as a libertarian, founded Parler in 2018 as a ‘free speech driven’ alternative to mainstream platforms, but has started courting right-wing users as prominent Trump supporters there. were installing.

Those who joined include commentator Candace Owens, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and right-wing activist Laura Loomer, who handcuffed herself to the door of Twitter’s New York office in November 2018 to protest its ban by the site. In November, conservative activist Rebekah Mercer confirmed that she and her family, which includes her father and hedge fund investor Robert Mercer, provided funding to Talk.

“Apparently they believe Parler is responsible for ALL user-generated content on Parler,” said Matze. “Therefore (sic) by the same logic, Apple must be responsible for ALL actions taken by their phones. Every car bomb, every illegal cell phone conversation, every illegal crime committed on an iPhone, Apple must also be responsible,” he wrote. . “Standards that don’t apply to Twitter, Facebook, or even Apple themselves, apply to Talking.”

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Reporting by Stephen Nellis; Editing by Leslie Adler

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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