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Parler Names George Farmer as CEO as It Returns to Apple’s App Store


Parler LLC on Monday named prominent U.K. conservative George Farmer as its new chief executive and said that its social network has returned to Apple Inc.’s App Store, the company’s latest steps to rebuild its business months after the U.S. Capitol riot.

Mr. Farmer is succeeding interim chief Mark Meckler, who is leaving the company. Mr. Farmer joined Parler in March as operating chief and previously worked in financial services for a decade, the company said.

He is married to

Candace Owens,

a conservative author and commentator known for being a loyal supporter of former President

Donald Trump.

In 2019, Mr. Farmer was an active financial supporter and candidate for the U.K.’s Brexit Party, according to Parler.

“For the past two months I have worked with an incredible team of people, under the leadership of Mark Meckler, to bring Parler back online and return to Apple’s App Store after we had been unfairly maligned by the media and its allies in Big Tech and Congress,” Mr. Farmer said in a statement.

Apple and

Alphabet Inc.’s

Google removed Parler from their app marketplaces in January in the wake of the deadly Capitol riot, saying the social-media platform hadn’t taken adequate steps to remove harmful content.

Amazon.com Inc.’s

cloud-computing business also withdrew its services, causing Parler to briefly go dark before its website returned online with the help of other tech companies in February. At the time, Parler said it had more than 20 million users, up from 15 million before it went dark.

In Parler’s return to service, executives have said they have rebuilt the platform with new community guidelines that indicate it is “viewpoint neutral” and won’t allow itself to be used as a tool for crime or unlawful acts.

To satisfy Apple’s rules, Parler said on Monday it will exclude certain content in its iOS app that could be otherwise viewed on the web-based and Android versions of the platform. It also said it has added process algorithms that automatically detect violent content or incitements to violence.

Parler launched in 2018, billing itself as an unbiased, free-speech alternative to larger social platforms such as those operated by

Facebook Inc.

and

Twitter Inc.

The company’s looser policies on content moderation attracted high-profile conservative media personalities such as Fox News host

Sean Hannity,

as well as supporters of Mr. Trump, including some who have promoted baseless claims that the 2020 election was stolen, as other platforms were cracking down on this kind of speech.

Parler had also been embraced by people who were banned by other large social networks, such as far-right talk-show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and supporters of the self-described “Western chauvinist” group the Proud Boys.

While Parler has returned to the App Store, the company has said it isn’t pursuing efforts to return to the Google Play store, as it is possible for Android users to access the app in other ways. Parler provides instructions for doing that on its website.

The Rise, Fall and Return of Parler

More WSJ coverage of the social-media platform, selected by the editors

Write to Sarah E. Needleman at sarah.needleman@wsj.com

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8



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