Parler is suing Amazon after the technology company launched a social network that favors far-right web hosting services, claiming it is aimed at political reasons and to reduce competition.
Amazon Web Services launched Parler from its cloud services shortly after midnight Pacific Time on Monday, with the site unavailable online from 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Amazon said it fired Parler because it was unsure of its ability to monitor the content of its platform, which encourages or incites violence.
“Amazon’s decision to effectively terminate Parler’s account was apparently motivated by political animus. It was also apparently intended to reduce competition in the microblogging services market in favor of Twitter,”
Parler also accused Amazon of using a double standard over other platforms, noting that Twitter recently signed a multi-year web hosting deal with Amazon.
Parler wants a temporary restraining order blocking Amazon from closing Parler’s account.
“This is tantamount to pulling a hospital patient’s plug on a life support service. It will kill Parler’s business – just as he is set to jump in,” the company said in its suit.
“There is no basis for these claims. AWS 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. However, it is clear that Parler has significant content that encourages and encourages violence against others, and that Parler is unable or unwilling to identify and remove such content in a timely manner, which is a violation of our Terms of Service. of this type of dangerous content, not a reduction that led to the suspension of their services on Sunday night, “an Amazon spokesman said in an email to CBS MoneyWatch.
The Conservative platform’s popularity jumped after the November election and was seen as a likely means of reaching President Donald Trump’s followers after it was launched by most mass media platforms after the US Capitol siege on Wednesday. In addition to the move, Google and Apple have removed Parler from their app stores.
Parler’s chief executive said this could stop him offline for a week, although it may be optimistic. And even if you find a friendlier web hosting service without a smartphone app, it’s hard to imagine Parler achieving major success.
The two-year far-right magnet claims more than 12 million users, although mobile app analytics firm Sensor Tower estimates 10 million worldwide, with 8 million in the United States. That’s a small fraction of 89 million followers, Mr. Trump on Twitter.
Still, Parler may be attractive to Mr. Trump, as his sons Eric and Don Jr. are already active there.
Extracted from the Google Apps Store
Parler hit a headwind on Friday when Google ripped its smartphone app from its app store to allow publications seeking to “incite continued violence in the U.S.” Apple followed suit Saturday night after giving Parler 24 hours to respond to the complaints with which it was used. facilitate further illegal and dangerous activities. “Public safety issues will have to be resolved before they can be restored,” Apple said.
Amazon struck another blow on Saturday, informing Parler that it will have to look for a new web hosting service in effect at midnight on Sunday. In a letter reminiscent for the first time from Buzzfeed, Parler recalled that in the last few weeks he had informed him of 98 examples of publications “clearly encouraging and inciting violence” and said the platform “poses a very real risk to public safety”. .
Parler CEO John Matze described the penalties as “a coordinated attack by technology giants to kill competition in the market.” We were very successful too quickly, “he said in a post on Saturday night, adding that Parler may not be available for up to a week” while recovering from scratch. “
“Every salesperson, from text messaging services to e-mail providers, to our lawyers, also left us on the same day,” Mace told Fox New Channel Sunday Morning Futures on Sunday. He said that while the company is trying to get back online as soon as possible, it “has a lot of problems because every vendor we talk to says it won’t work with us because if Apple doesn’t approve and Google doesn’t do not approve, they will not. “
The loss of access to Google and Apple’s app stores, whose operating systems power hundreds of millions of smartphones, severely limits Parler’s access, although it continues to be accessible through a web browser. The loss of Amazon Web Services means that Parler must go up to find another web host, in addition to reengineering.
Meanwhile, another site widely used by the far right, Gab.com, has apparently taken advantage of Parler’s problems. Gab tweeted earlier Monday that “it has gained more users in the last 2 days than we have in the first two years of our existence.”
The future of ideologically based platforms
While initially arguing for the need to be speech-neutral, Twitter and Facebook gradually succumbed to public pressure, outlining the line, especially when the so-called pandemic video appeared at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, urging people not to wear masks, the professor said. from civil media Ethan Zuckerman of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Zuckerman expects that Trump’s deplatform could spur important online change. Among them is an possible ideological fragmentation of the world of social media.
“Trump will attract a lot of audiences wherever he goes,” he said. This could mean more platforms with a smaller, more ideologically isolated audience.
Mr. Trump may also launch his own platform. But that won’t happen overnight, and free speech experts predict growing pressure on all social media platforms to curb inflammatory speech as Americans take stock of the violent seizure of the US Capitol by a mob instigated by Trump.