removed the Wimkin social media platform from the App Store. This is part of the growing push by technology companies for potentially dangerous content during the presidential transition.
On Tuesday, the technology giant suspended Wimkin, a small website masquerading as a free speech site, because of content including calls for civil war and the arrest of Vice President Mike Pence, according to Wimkin’s founder.
and his correspondence with Apple.
Sheppard said Thursday that a small Wimkin team has cut dozens of posts and a group trying to organize a multimillion-dollar march for the presidential election.
Joe Biden’s house
The inauguration will take place next week.
As soon as we knew, we did something about it, Sheppard said.
WSJ Pro Cybersecurity
News, analysis and views on cyber security from WSJ’s global team of reporters and editors.
Sheppard said bribes on the platform, which has 300,000 users and mimics certain features
is very low compared to content removal by much larger competitors.
I don’t blame them for looking at it, Sheppard said of the apple. I just want them to give us a chance.
Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The removal of Wimkin from the App Store is the latest move by technology companies to limit the spread of what they see as misinformation about the presidential election and possible plans for violence, such as last week’s riots on Capitol Hill.
In messages to Mr. Sheppard that were shared with the Wall Street Journal, Apple cited an article questioning the election this month of Reverend Rafael Warnock as a Georgia senator, with the statement We Have in the Aftermath of Civil War. The other concerns false passport photos of technical officials and accusations of treason and election interference.
He said Sheppard’s team of five moderators removed those posts and banned a group of nearly 400 users who had organized a militia rally on the day of the inauguration to prevent Biden’s illegal and treasonous ticket to power. The Wimkin team has also removed the group administrator account.
National Guard members have preparedness equipment near the Capitol.
Andrew Harnick/Presse Associée
We have a lot of Trump fans on our side, but we don’t condone violence, he said. We’re not here to check the facts. We’re here to protect people.
Sheppard said his team was in the process of installing additional security measures, including tools that automatically flag keywords as murder and assassination. The Apple App Review Board notified Sheppard in a notice Tuesday that his proposals to restrict more harmful content did not meet its rules.
In particular, we continue to find direct threats of violence and calls for anarchy, Apple writes.
On Wimkin on Thursday, memes questioning the election results and comparing liberals to Hitler were among the things posted. Sheppard said Thursday night that he was in contact with Apple officials to find ways to meet the technology company’s standards and eventually return to the App Store.
With Wimkin’s withdrawal, Apple finds itself in the company of much larger accounts and platforms that have been downsized since the deadly Capitol uprising. After Facebook Inc. and
last week suspended President Trump’s accounts, Apple and Amazon.com Inc. Parler’s access to its app store or cloud computing services has been cut off. The tech companies’ actions have been applauded by some who believe they should do more to control content on their platforms and criticized by others who accuse them of bias and censorship.
Sheppard, a web developer from Pittsburgh, said he founded Wimkin in August as an alternative to what he saw as a bias against conservative discussions on platforms like Facebook. He added that Wimkin comes from the acronym WMKN, or the world must know, a reference to freedom of speech.
Representatives from the Google Play app store also sent Sheppard a warning Thursday morning about a possible repeal and gave him 24 hours to implement the new policy, according to a copy of their correspondence obtained by the Wall Street Journal. Google did not respond to requests for comment.
People are allowed to have their opinions, as long as they don’t cross the line, Sheppard explains of Wimkin’s approach. People may say the election was rigged.
Email David Uberti at [email protected].
Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8