Parler's Battle With Amazon Escalates as Tech Giant Responds in Court Filings and Parler Retorts
Parler's John Matze said the social media platform favored by the alt-right may not return at all if Amazon does not resume its web hosting services.
Amazon is defending its decision to deplatform Parler, claiming in court papers filed late Tuesday that the tech giant reported more than 100 instances of “content that threatens the public safety, such as by inciting and planning the rape, torture, and assassination of public officials and private citizens" since Nov. 17.
Among those named in concerning posts made on Parler were President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, according to Amazon Web Services.
Other posts Amazon Web Services named in its response mentioned forming militias to prepare for civil war, assassinating Black Lives Matter activists and shooting police officers and teachers alike.
“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,” a spokesperson with Amazon Web Services told Inside Edition Digital following the filing. “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.”
Amazon Web Services said it has also made clear that the move is not about stifling free speech, and said Parler’s claims that the tech giant broke antitrust laws and breached their contract were “meritless.”
Parler responded swiftly, filing a response Wednesday that said their contract was terminated instead of suspended, and that they were given no warnings of potential contract breaches until after the Capitol riots.
"At no time before January 9, 2021, did AWS notify Parler that Parler was in material breach of the Agreement, thus blindsiding Parler," according to the filing. "And in the period up until then, AWS implicitly assured Parler that the two companies had a positive relationship that would continue into 2021."
Amazon has not yet responded to the latest claims.
Amazon is just one of many tech giants to take a stance against the Twitter-esque platform favored by the alt-right following the assault on the U.S. Capitol. Apple has removed Parler from their app stores, saying “we have always supported diverse points of view being represented on the App Store, but there is not place on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity.”
Google also removed Parler from its app store, saying it features posts “inciting violence,” according to Axios.
“It’s hard to keep track of how many people are telling us that we can no longer do business with them,” Parler's CEO John Matze told Reuters Wednesday. He added in the interview that online payment services Stripe and American Express have also severed ties with Parler, and workplace messaging app Slack has also dropped Matze's communication with Parler's paid and unpaid content moderation staff.
He also said the Parler may not return if Amazon does not resume its web hosting services.
Additionally, Twitter has banned Trump’s account following the storming of the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday, while Facebook has suspended Trump’s account indefinitely and also announced Monday that is has begun a crackdown against posts that reference “stop the steal,” a phrase which Trump and his supporters have used when falsely alleging voter fraud.
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