New Parler CEO explains steps taken ‘to reinforce’ the social media platform
The new Parler CEO, George Farmer, argues that many of the vendors that are used by technology firms are ‘based in kind of woke corporate California and that really makes it very difficult to work if you’re a free-speech minded platform.’
The new Parler CEO, George Farmer, explained on "Mornings with Maria" Tuesday what it took to revive the "free-speech-minded" social media platform and get it back on Apple and Google’s app stores after it was removed over what the companies said was violent and threatening content in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
In January, Amazon Web Services decided to suspend the upstart social media platform for failure to moderate "egregious content" related to the Capitol riot. The move took the site offline, until Parler could find another hosting service.
Apple and Google previously suspended Parler from its app stores, as liberals and many media pundits championed the move to de-platform the social media app.
Farmer, who was named CEO of Parler last month, warned that "the whole technological infrastructure is based in woke corporate America, and that makes it very difficult if you’re a free-speech oriented platform."
"We have taken a lot of steps to reinforce our platform and to move away from being focused on using any third-party providers, which ideologically might disagree with us being a free-speech-minded platform and that was a very difficult process and that remains a very difficult process," he told host Maria Bartiromo.
"It’s not easy to try and use basically everything in-house or build it from scratch, which is exactly what we’ve done."
Farmer also said, "There is a real difficulty here across America."
"All firms, which are using these platforms could get de-platformed at any point if they think that your ideological alignment doesn’t align with theirs – and that’s a terrifying thought because at any point you could just be switched off," he continued.
"So we’ve taken a lot of steps to reinforce that, and other firms should also think about doing the same."
In February, after more than a month offline, Parler announced that the company relaunched using a new web hosting service.
"Parler’s new platform is built on robust, sustainable, independent technology," a news release said.
New Parler CEO George Farmer on reviving the social media platform
Parler CEO George Farmer explains what it took to get the social media platform back on the Apple App Store following its suspension over what the company said was violent and threatening content.
Parler, which had more than 20 million users and was first launched in August 2018, faced criticism over the riot that saw supporters of former President Trump storm into the U.S. Capitol, attack police, vandalize the building and steal items from inside.
Screenshots taken from Parler and shared on other social media platforms appear to show Parler users openly discussing plans for violence at the rally that preceded the attack on the Capitol, including bringing weapons and imagining how they would wield them against their political opponents.
"We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the U.S.," a Google spokesperson wrote in a statement in January. "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."
APPLE AND GOOGLE SUSPEND PARLER FROM THEIR APP STORES
"We have always supported diverse points of view being represented on the App Store, but there is no place on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity," an Apple spokesperson said in a statement to FOX Business announcing Parler’s suspension from its App Store until the "issues" were resolved.
The tech giant also said that "Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety."
In April, Apple confirmed it had approved proposed updates to the app, which will now comply with Apple's Terms of Service, according to a letter sent to Congressman Ken Buck, R-Colo., and Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, which has been made public on Twitter.
"Part of the problem is that so many of the vendors that are used by technology firms are based in California and based in kind of woke corporate California and that really makes it very difficult to work if you’re a free-speech minded platform, which is exactly what we are," Farmer told Bartiromo on Tuesday.
When Bartiromo asked Farmer what changes he made to the conservative-friendly social network to get the website back online, he pointed to "two various areas that we attacked when we were down in the wilderness, as we described it."
Farmer noted that the first area of attack "was a technological rebuild" of the entire app, which he said was "a very difficult process to undertake in a short amount of time, but we were able to succeed on that."
He pointed out that "everything that you are using now in terms of engagement with the site is completely new."
Farmer explained that the second area of focus was "negotiations to get back in the App Store with Apple," which he noted was a "very productive discussion … over the course of several months."
"So we improved our moderation features, we used new moderation policy searches when you post stuff on Parler and that basically helped us to discuss with them how we were going to be able to get back in the App Store," Farmer continued.
Spokespeople for Apple, Amazon and Google did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment on Tuesday.
Parler Interim CEO on Apple reinstating social networking service on app store
Parler Interim CEO Mark Meckler explains what allowed the social media platform to get back on the app store.
Bartiromo asked Farmer, "How will you ensure that you will continue with free speech unabated?"
In response Farmer said, "free speech is written into the DNA of Parler and that’s the whole reason we started."
"It’s our corporate policy that we do not sell your data," he added. "Most firms out there will happily sell your data and happily exchange it for a cash return," he continued, stressing Parler's stance on the matter.
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He went on to explain that the company is "very focused on privacy and our content moderation is focused around the First Amendment," stressing that the "whole point" of Parler "is that it is a free-speech-focused platform."
"Anything allowable under the First Amendment [and] anything allowed under SEC guidelines, you’re allowed to say on the platform," Farmer noted. "There may be a filter applied to it if it’s deemed offensive, but you’re allowed to still post it."
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Fox News’ Brian Flood and Fox Business’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.
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