Parler will rejoin the Google Play Store following changes to its content moderation

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Parler will again be available for download through the Google Play Store as early as Friday, Google (GOOG (GOOG)) said in a statement. The app had been suspended following the Jan. 6 Capitol riots over concerns it was hosting incitement and threats of violence; at the time, Parler lacked key content moderation systems including ways for users to report objectionable content and the ability to remove users who violated the app’s terms of service, Google said.

Since then, Parler has added the missing tools and improved its content moderation, paving the way for it to come back to Google’s official app marketplace, Google said.

“As we’ve long stated, apps are able to appear on Google Play provided they comply with Play’s developer policies,” a Google spokesperson said. “All apps on Google Play that feature User Generated Content (UGC) are required to implement robust moderation practices that prohibit objectionable content, provide an in-app system for reporting objectionable UGC, take action against that UGC where appropriate, and remove or block abusive users who violate the app’s terms of use and/or user policy.”

Parler’s restoration was first reported by Axios.

Parler said Friday it has worked “continuously” in recent months to upgrade its systems, adding that it was restored to Apple’s app store more than a year ago. Android users, meanwhile, have been able to install Parler directly from its website — a process known as “side-loading” — but not by downloading it from Google’s proprietary app store.

“We are pleased that Parler is back on Google Play as a native app so that Android users no longer have to side-load,” said Samuel Lipoff, Parler’s chief technology officer, in a statement. “While away from Google Play, we have worked diligently to build a more feature-rich and dynamic user experience. Now is a perfect time to join Parler and rediscover the non-partisan platform where we enable people to speak freely!”

The decision to restore Parler comes days after Google said Truth Social, a Twitter-like app backed by former President Donald Trump, did not meet the platform’s standards for content moderation and could not be offered on the Google Play Store.

A person familiar with the matter told CNN Friday that Truth Social is “very actively” working to improve its moderation systems to comply with Google’s requirements and aims to submit a new version of the app for review in a matter of days or weeks.

September 3, 2022 at 02:39AM

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