Apple denies Parler request to rejoin App Store citing 'highly objectionable content'

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App Store (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Controversial social media app Parler will not be rejoining the App Store anytime soon.
  • Apple denied a request in February citing "highly objectionable content" on the platform.
  • Parler has since cut its remaining iOS developers, suggesting it may have given up on the issue.

Controversial app Parler has been denied its request to rejoin the App Store, signaling what is likely the end of the platform on the iPhone.

From Bloomberg:

Parler, the controversial conservative social media app, was denied re-entry to Apple Inc.'s App Store recently after it was kicked off the platform in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, documents obtained by Bloomberg show. When it initially removed Parler from the App Store in January, Apple asked the social network to change its moderation practices. Apple said that Parler's new community guidelines, released when the service came back online Feb. 15, were insufficient to comply with the App Store rules.

The report says Apple wrote to Parler on February 25 stating "we do not believe these changes are sufficient to comply with App Store Review guidelines", further noting "There is no place for hateful, racist, discriminatory content on the App Store."

Bloomberg says that Apple included Parler screenshots in its rejection letter, some of which showed "user profile pictures with swastikas and other white nationalist imagery, and user names and posts that are misogynistic, homophobic and racist." Apple says that developers are "required to implement robust moderation capabilities to proactively identify, prevent and filter this objectionable content to protect the health and safety of users." The report continues:

"In fact, simple searches reveal highly objectionable content, including easily identified offensive uses of derogatory terms regarding race, religion and sexual orientation, as well as Nazi symbols," Apple wrote "For these reasons your app cannot be returned to the App Store for distribution until it complies with the guidelines."

Bloomberg says that Parler has since let go of its three remaining iOS developers, suggesting they may have given up hope on ever returning to the App Store. However, in a statement to The Verge Parler said:

"We have since engaged Apple to show them how we've incorporated a combination of algorithmic filters and human review to detect and remove content that threatens or incites violence. Parler expects and hopes to keep working with Apple to return to the App Store."

For social media apps that are still available on iOS, why not check out our roundup of the best social media apps for iPhone and iPad here.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9