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Following the attack on the US Capitol on Wednesday, Parler, the conservative social media network competing against Twitter, has come under fire in recent days for hosting content inciting violence. It has since deleted some offending posts.
On Friday, Apple threatened the network with a removal of its app from the company’s App Store unless it took action against the offending content, and Google placed a temporary suspension on the Android version of the Parler app on the Google Play store for the same reason.
Parler came under scrutiny after Lin Wood, the high-profile lawyer involved in President Trump’s effort to contest the results of the 2020 US election, joined Parler after he was banned from Twitter for inciting violence against Vice President Mike Pence. Wood referred to Pence as a “pedophile” and claimed to possess evidence that the Vice President had raped or molested numerous teenage boys.
On Parler, Wood repeated his claims with a screenshot of his now-deleted tweet.
Wood called for Pence's death, writing, “Get the firing squads ready. Pence goes FIRST.”
He also made baseless claims that Ashli Babbitt, the woman who was shot and killed by police in the Capitol, was still “ALIVE and WELL” and described the shooting as a “FALSE FLAG Shooting.”
Wood made a number of claims on the platform, including claims that the Vice President and others, whom he described as “communist tyrants” were planning to execute both President Trump and his supporters, as captured by Mediaite.
The lawyer also posted links to a manufactured document from 2016 created by a parody political news website that satirized an email conversation between Pence and former Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Parler, which bills itself as a free speech alternative to Twitter, allowed the posts to remain online until Saturday afternoon, when the platform finally moderated Wood’s content by removing them.
Parler CEO John Matze told Mediaite that the site had taken action against a number of his posts, including the one calling for “firing squads.”
“Yes, some of his parleys that violated our rules were taken down,” Matze told Mediaite. “Including the ones you are talking about.”
Wood told the publication that he was unaware of any action against his Parler account and clarified that his posts were merely “rhetorical hyperbole,” and continues to post on the platform.
Wood's posts claiming that Pence raped teenage boys, or that he would be moving to kill Trump and his supporters, have not been removed.
According to Parler’s own rules, the site forbids and removes posts if they contain “an explicit or implicit encouragement to use violence, or to commit a lawless action, such that: (a) the Parleyer intends his or her speech to result in the use of violence or lawless action, and (b) the imminent use of violence or lawless action is the likely result of the parley, comment, or message.”