Google removes Parler app from Google Play Store


Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google

Anindito Mukherjee | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Google has removed Parler, a social media app popular with Trump supporters, from the Google Play Store, making it much harder for Android users to download and access the app.

Google said in a statement that its requires social media apps to have content moderation policies that remove posts that incite violence, and that posts on Parler were encouraging further violence after the U.S. Capitol riot earlier this week.

The removal of the app comes as the violence at the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters on Wednesday that left five dead has renewed calls for social media and technology companies to more closely moderate their platforms, especially when it comes to calls to incite violence.

Twitter permanently banned President Donald Trump’s personal account on Friday because it felt that Trump’s most recent tweets were inciting violence, while Facebook prevented Trump from posting through the inauguration later this month.

Here’s Google’s full statement:

“In order to protect user safety on Google Play, our longstanding policies require that apps displaying user-generated content have moderation policies and enforcement that removes egregious content like posts that incite violence. All developers agree to these terms and we have reminded Parler of this clear policy in recent months. We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the U.S. We recognize that there can be reasonable debate about content policies and that it can be difficult for apps to immediately remove all violative content, but for us to distribute an app through Google Play, we do require that apps implement robust moderation for egregious content. In light of this ongoing and urgent public safety threat, we are suspending the app’s listings from the Play Store until it addresses these issues.”

This story is developing, please check back for updates.

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