Apple is preparing to ban Parler from its devices within the next 24 hours, the free-speech-branded social media platform told The Federalist Friday, as the big tech purge of online voices competing with the leftist world order of Silicon Valley escalates in the wake of the Capitol Hill riots that ensued Wednesday.
Parler co-owner Dan Bongino told The Federalist that Apple began threatening to remove the platform from its App Store and bar it from iOS devices, claiming content on the website violated the Cupertino company’s safety standards and contributed to the recent outbreak of unrest in the nation’s capital.
Bongino refuted the idea that Parler deliberately served as an online forum to incite violence any more than Facebook and Twitter, where far-right extremists openly discussed their intentions leading up to this week.
“We have clear terms of service like anyone else,” Bongino said, declaring Apple’s threat a blatant “political attack,” going on to point out that Parler has a jury system that allows users to report questionable content. “Anything that violates our terms of service, we take down. But we’re not a publisher, we’re a platform.”
Despite Facebook and Twitter hosting extremist activity on their websites, an accusation Apple has hurled specifically at Parler, neither company immediately responded to The Federalist’s inquiry over whether they are also being threatened with de-platforming by Apple. Both Facebook and Twitter have spent years masquerading as objective online platforms while acting as publishers, selectively censoring content that incriminates the companies’ political interests. Their roles as publishers came to full fruition when the companies weaponized their monopoly over the digital public square to suppress stories implicating then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in his son’s corrupt overseas business ventures.
Bongino said Parler has always complied with Apple’s App Store terms of service without compromising its integrity as a free-speech platform.
Apple, a company already facing moral and ethical issues through its dependency on slave labor in communist China, as reported by the Daily Caller, did not immediately respond to The Federalist’s request for comment.
The big tech purge of competing voices on the right has accelerated at breakneck speed since Wednesday’s demonstrations, while no such widespread censorship was employed on the same scale in the aftermath of the George Floyd riots last May and the following waves of violent left-wing extremism that ensued in the months to follow.
On Friday, Reddit banned the massive “r/DonaldTrump” discussion page, joining Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, which all barred the president on their platforms indefinitely. Twitter declared that it is preparing to implement its own permanent suspension of Trump’s account, after having placed a 12-hour lock on it this week, and YouTube said it’s expanding enforcement against claims of voter fraud. TikTok also began blocking hashtags “patriotparty” and “stormthecapitol,” redirecting users to the platform’s community guidelines.
Parler, founded in 2018, was launched to serve as a free-speech alternative to Twitter and now boasts upwards of 18 million users, Bongino told The Federalist, warning that Apple’s “declared war” on the company stretches far wider than just Parler.
“Anyone who doesn’t tow the liberal line, they are now at open war with,” Bongino said, warning that if Apple prevails, there will never be another app that can operate as a free public square. “This is about having a public square where people can speak free of the surveillance state.”