Amazon told the social network Parler, an increasingly popular forum for the far right, that its web hosting will be stopped on Sunday, a move that ensures it is turned off offline.
The action is the latest attempt by a technology company to undo incitement to violence following Wednesday’s riot in Washington by a pro-Trump mob. Apple and Google kicked Parler out of their respective app stores in the past 24 hours, while Twitter finally shut down President Donald Trump’s account on Friday.
Unless Parler is able to find an alternative hosting company willing to take over its business, the site will no longer be able to operate after 1
The actions against Mr. Trump and Parler have intensified the debate over the powers of technology companies, as critics accuse them of seeking to regulate speech online and censor conservative votes.
Parler has become a popular alternative to Twitter for conservatives outraged by what they saw as the company’s greater liberal bias on social media. However, critics say far-right activists have used the platform to incite violence, including calls for the assassination of Vice President Mike Pence.
Amazon’s cloud trust and security team, AWS, wrote in a letter to Parler CEO Amy Peikoff that while providing technology to people with political views across the spectrum, it was “concerned about repeated violations” of the terms for use on moderation.
“We cannot provide services to a customer who is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others,” reads the letter, first received by BuzzFeed News and verified by the Financial Times.
The letter states that AWS has been in contact with the disputed forum for “several weeks”, drawing attention to 98 cases of publications which “clearly encourage and incite violence”.
Amazon did not offer further comments.
In removing Parler, Apple explained that it respects different points of view, but that there is no place “in our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity.”
Parler, the self-described “impartial social media network” that claims to defend “freedom of speech,” topped the list of downloads in Apple’s App Store after Twitter banned President Trump’s personal account on Friday.
In response, the outgoing president issued a statement saying he had “negotiated with various other sites” and considered “building our own platform in the near future.”
Parler CEO John Matze announced on the site that the company will recover “from scratch” and find a new host. He said the site would be offline for “up to a week”.
He suggested the moves were “a coordinated attack by technology giants to kill competition in the market”.
Dina Srinivasan, an antitrust scientist whose work has contributed to calls to crack down on Facebook, said he was a “cop” for Parler to come up with a secret agreement.
“To assume that Amazon, Google and Apple are coordinating an attack to silence Parler and Trump is ridiculous,” she said. “It makes perfect sense for every company to act in the same way.”
The moves of the technology giants suggest that each new platform will have a challenge to penetrate the mass flow.
“American companies do not want to be complicit in the uprising,” Ms. Srinivasan said.