Google has removed the small social-media site Wimkin from its Google Play store, joining Apple Inc. in cutting the app’s reach amid a broader effort to rein in misleading or potentially harmful content.
Google suspended Wimkin from its app store Monday night, a company spokesman said, citing posts that called for violence against liberals. The posts violated rules barring apps from hosting what Google deems inappropriate content, the spokesman said.
“We don’t allow apps that depict or facilitate gratuitous violence or other dangerous activities,” the Google spokesman said.
The suspension is the latest move by tech companies since the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot to more aggressively moderate conspiracy theories on the presidential election or calls for violence.
Apple suspended the roughly 300,000-user Wimkin from its App Store last week over such posts, according to Wimkin Founder Jason Sheppard and records of his correspondence with Apple viewed by the Wall Street Journal. Apple’s correspondence cited posts urging users to start a civil war and arrest Vice President Mike Pence, which Wimkin’s content moderators removed.
Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
Last week, Google warned it might take similar action, highlighting in an email to Mr. Sheppard viewed by the Journal that “we don’t allow apps that contain false or misleading information,” while also warning against posts that encourage or facilitate violence.
Mr. Sheppard said he is updating Wimkin’s policies and tools in an attempt to comply with Google and Apple standards. The site’s rules prohibit pornography and incitement to violence, he said in an interview last week, but its moderators don’t fact-check. The site markets itself as a free-speech haven.
On Tuesday, posts included comparisons of Democrats with Nazis and a meme saying, “If you don’t believe in violence, get ready to hide behind someone who does.”
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