- President Donald Trump has considered creating a Parler account under the pseudonym “Person X”, said its CEO John Matze.
- In the lawsuit, Matze claims that Parler’s web host, Amazon Web Services, has been aware of this since at least October, and that Trump’s ability to join Parler is part of the reason AWS cut off the network on Monday.
- “There is no basis for these allegations,” an Amazon spokesman told Insider.
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President Donald Trump has considered setting up a Parler account, a popular social media app followed by his nickname, “Person X,”
Matze claims that Amazon Web Services is aware of these plans and actually terminated his contract with Parler this week, in part to deny Trump any further presence on social media.
AWS, cutting Parler on Monday, transferred the app offline and Matze believes it may never return.
AWS said Parler “poses a very real risk to public safety,” and Google and Apple are banning the app from their app stores. Parler had become a haven for far-right activity and misinformation due to its relaxed position on content moderation, and some users called for further violence during the January 6 Capitol riot in the United States.
Matze’s statement came Wednesday after a social media network hit AWS with an antitrust lawsuit. The statement challenged Amazon’s claims that it had repeatedly warned Parler to suspend the platform’s contract due to violent content.
During a submission Wednesday, Matze said an AWS representative appointed to Parler had been aware, at least since October, that Trump was planning to create an account on the platform. The spokesman maintained frequent contact with Matze about this, he added, arguing that the man should also have been aware that this would lead to an influx of Trump supporters in Parler.
“[Retracted], who is a supporter of Joe Biden, was an AWS representative appointed to me by AWS, and was aware at least from October 11, 2020, that Trump was considering moving to Parler under the pseudonym “Person X”, writes Matze.
The spokesman “often” contacted him on the issue, Matze said, adding: “The AWS knew that Trump could get an account in Parler, which would probably bring with it an influx of followers on the Parler platform.”
Matze said that “based on my interactions with AWS staff during this period, I believe that AWS’s decision to terminate Parler’s service was not based on concerns expressed by Parler’s compliance with the AWS agreement, but partly on the desire to deny President Trump a platform on any major social media service. “
He added: “AWS had inside and confidential knowledge from Parler about when and if it would join.”
There is “no merit” to Matze’s claims that AWS launched Parler to prevent Trump from getting an account, an Amazon spokesman told Insider, explaining that he provides technology and services to customers across the political spectrum.
Instead, he made the move because of content on the site that encourages and incites violence, Amazon said.
“We reported our concerns to Parler for several weeks, during which time we saw a significant increase in this type of dangerous content, not a decrease that led to the suspension of their services on Sunday night,” it added.
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Since the January 6 Capitol uprising, many social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat, have permanently locked or banned Trump’s accounts, which may make Trump more likely to turn to Parler as an alternative.
Matze said in a statement that AWS had expressed concern about its deal with Parler only after Twitter announced it was banning Trump from participating in his platform.
In the statement, Matze also said that Amazon had not expressed concerns about Parler’s content moderation system until January 8. Amazon said Tuesday that it has issued repeated warnings since mid-November and that Parler has refused to remove more than 100 cases of violent content, including death threats.
Matze also said that Parler dropped out of the Slack messaging service in the workplace, making it difficult for Parler employees to monitor its contents.
“The loss of Slack makes it extremely difficult to effectively enforce our terms of service with our nearly 600 volunteers and paid jury members,” he wrote.