Maybe you remember Parler. It was the least offensive of the far right, “free speech” social media services that stood in opposition to the mainstream likes of Twitter — which is to say it was pretty awfully offensive. It seemed to die after the failed MAGA insurrection of January 6, many of whose participants used it to help coordinate their attack. Some four months later it was back on places like Google and Apple that had once banned it — but only Apple is asking them to shape up.
As per Vox, Apple allowed the app version of Parler back into the fold, but with a major caveat: Its “anything goes” approach had to end. Users operating on it on iOS could no longer spread hate speech or incite violence. Posts will be monitored by an AI program, and it will label offending posts as “hate,” making them unavailable over their service. It’s something! Though perhaps nothing would be better.
It’s also more than their rival is doing. Though the app remains banned in the Google Play Store, Android users can still bypass it and download the unfiltered version to their phones. Unencumbered by AI police, they can let rip with racial slurs and whatever else might get them flagged on Apple’s “Parler Lite.”
Mind you, even the Apple version of Parler can be dangerous. As Vox points out, there’s “the risk that people use the Apple version of Parler to attract followers, and then organize violence on the non-Apple versions of Parler.” The truce, though, is not necessarily long-lived: They’re still being monitored by the tech giant over the long run, and things could always — and easily — get out of hand.
Parler all but disappeared from the internet on January 9, when Apple, Google, as well as Amazon, who hosted its services, cut ties with them, in response to the events of January 6. It returned in mid-February, having found an alternative to Amazon but still without an Apple- or Google-okayed app.
One other thing: In addition to getting back on Apple, Parler also announced a new CEO. His name is George Farmer, and he’s the former chairman of Turning Point UK, the British wing of the conservative organization that targets students. His wife? Rightwing firebrand Candace Owens. When that news broke, some found it even worse than the return of Parler.
I can’t even say I’m surprised Candace Owens’ hubby is the CEO of Parler now.https://t.co/MDhnfRs1Em
— J. “Rabbit hole J.Cole” Coleman (@DemopJ) May 17, 2021
I can’t believe the CEO of Parler is actually Candace Owen’s husband.
Said no one ever.
— Shari Lynn (@LynnSharig8) May 18, 2021
Meanwhile, others noted things had returned to normal over at Parler.
I see Parler is going back to its roots. pic.twitter.com/DHS8fY6xLs
— PatriotTakes (@patriottakes) May 17, 2021