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Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) reported Monday that Apple will allow Parler’s return to its app store. This came after the company responded to a letter Lee had sent him, along with Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO). The GOP members of Congress argued that conservatives should not be silenced.
“Apple anticipates that the updated Parler app will become available immediately upon Parler releasing it,” reads the letter Lee received.
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) April 19, 2021
Similarly, Apple detailed that, from their point of view, Parler violated rules on its platform and argued that the removal of the app was done without coordination with Google or Amazon. “Apple made an independent decision to remove Parler for non-compliance with the guidelines, and did not coordinate or consult with Google or Amazon regarding that decision.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Buck explained that the letter sent to Parler was with the intent to learn the reasons for the decision to remove the app. Besides, he highlighted that the return is a triumph for freedom of expression.
On January 8, 2021, Parler was removed from the Android and Apple app store. This happened after there were accusations that the app was allegedly used to promote racist comments. The app defines itself, on its website, as an unbiased social network focused on real user experiences and engagement. It is based on free expression without violence and censorship.
It is a social network used primarily by people with conservative ideals. Because of this, leaders of the Republican Party have claimed that the action taken by Apple and Android violated conservatives’ freedom of speech.
Members of the Republican Party have repeatedly denounced censorship by Big Tech. Since the beginning of the pandemic and during the presidential elections in November, then President Trump had denounced irregularities in the publication of his messages on digital platforms such as Twitter.
On January 6, Mark Zuckerberg’s company suspended Trump’s account, which had more than 80 million followers. The measure was replicated by other applications such as Instagram, Snapchat, Twitch, and also YouTube.
This decision against Trump had the rejection of part of the American society, but the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) also warned that allowing these types of actions gave rise to the control of citizens’ freedom of expression.
“The measures adopted by the platforms could lead to an unbridled legislative race to regulate freedom of expression in the digital area,” the IAPA said in a statement.
Recently, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also denounced the manipulation of information against conservatives and indicated that the CBS network altered an interview with him to affect his reputation. In the material, he is questioned about his relationship with Publix, the company in charge of distributing the COVID-19 vaccine. The journalist insinuated that DeSantis hired that company because it would contribute resources to his campaign. However, the program edited the part in which the Republican governor defended himself from the accusations.