Parler is a social network highly favored by far-right conservative parties that Amazon removed from its platform following the riot last week.
Amazon Web Services removed the Parler app from its cloud services this past Monday after the company claimed that the network wasn’t able to monitor the content on its platform, especially content that promoted or incited violence. Parler responded to this removal by filing a lawsuit against Amazon on claims that the company is targeting the app for political reasons and to reduce its overall competition.
According to the official complaint filed by Parler this Monday in a Seattle federal court, Amazon’s “decision to effectively terminate Parler’s account is apparently motivated by political animus. It is also apparently designed to reduce competition in the micro-blogging services market to the benefit of Twitter, which violated federal antitrust laws.”
Parler is accusing Amazon of using a double standard when compared to other platforms that the company allows to be associated with the site. Parler specifically cited how Twitter just signed a multi-year web-hosting deal with Amazon. The goal of the lawsuit for Parler is to get a temporary restraining order placed on Amazon so that the platform would be blocked from shutting down Parler’s account.
“Amazon’s decision is the equivalent of pulling the plug on a hospital patient. It will kill Parler’s business at the very time it is set to skyrocket.”
An Amazon spokesperson recently spoke with the media regarding this lawsuit and defended their decision to remove Parler from their site. “There is no merit to these claims. Amazon Web Services provides technology and services to customers across the political spectrum, and we respect Parler’s right to determine for itself what content it will allow.”
The spokesperson continued: “However, it is clear that there is significant content on Parler that encourages and incites violence against others, and that Parler is unable or unwilling to promptly identify and remove this content, which is a violation of our terms of service. We made our concerns known to Parler over a number of weeks and during that time we saw a significant increase in this type of dangerous content, not a decrease, which led to our suspension of their services Sunday evening.”
The conservative platform’s popularity grew immensely after the 2020 Election and has been viewed as a major vehicle for President Donald Trump to reach his followers after he was suspended from all other mainstream social media platforms after the Capitol Riot. Due to this possibility, Amazon made the move to suspend the apps services; Google and Apple have also removed Parler from their app stores for the same reason. According to Amazon the removal of Parler wasn’t exactly out of nowhere either, and the company had warned the platform of their plans.
“We had informed Parler in the past of 98 examples of posts that clearly encourage and incite violence and said the platform poses a very real risk to public safety, yet they did nothing.”
Parler’s CEO John Matze has claimed that they will likely only survive another week or so without the help of Google, Apple or Amazon, and even if it is able to find another web hosting service, without a mainstream smartphone app the platform likely won’t survive. The app has been around for two years and has over 12 million users. Eric and Donald Trump Jr. are very active on the platform.
Google removed the app from its app store for “allowing postings that seek to insight violence in the US,” and Apple followed suit the next day but instead of just removing the app they gave Parler 24 hours to address the complaints that it was being “used to facilitate further illegal and dangerous activities even after the riot.”
Matze went on to explain that he thought the “punishments are a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the marketplace. Every vendor, from text message services, to e-mail providers, to our lawyers all ditched us too on the same day. The company is trying to get back online as quickly as possible, but we’re having a lot of trouble because every vendor we talk to says they won’t work with us, because, if Apple doesn’t approve and Google doesn’t approve, they won’t.”
Far-right social media website Gab.com has been benefiting from Parler’s downfall, as the company tweeted that within the past two days the platform gained more users than their first two years of existence. However, with the suspension of current president Trump from all mainstream platforms, and the dozens of arrests occurring across the nation in relation to the Capitol riot, it’s unlikely that federal agencies will let these far-right violent platforms continue to exist.
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