- The far-right social media platform Parler sued Amazon for violating antitrust laws, after Amazon banned the site from using its AWS services so that it could not more effectively mitigate the threat of violence.
- Amazon claims that Parler cannot effectively politicize threats of violence on its platform, but the lawsuit alleges that Amazon’s decision was politically motivated and anti-competitive because it did not take similar actions against Twitter, which also uses AWS.
- Parler boasted of his commitment to freedom of speech and almost no moderation policy. It has been favored by many on the right, including Trump supporters and Senator Ted Cruz.
- The lawsuit was filed after pro-Trump rioters swept the U.S. Capitol, and many believed that technology companies played a role in providing platforms for people who tried to incite violence.
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Court documents filed on Monday show that the far-right social media service Parler is suing Amazon for violating antitrust laws.
Amazon’s move was made after Amazon announced that Parler had failed to alleviate the threat of violence after the deadly siege of the US Capitol last week and removed Parler from its cloud hosting service.
Parler claimed that Amazon’s decision was politically motivated and violated the contract between the two companies, which required Amazon to publish a cloud hosting service support article on Parler. According to the lawsuit, AWS must provide Parler with 30 days’ notice before terminating the service.
It also claimed that Amazon’s actions were anti-competitive because it did not take similar actions against Twitter, which is a competitor of Parler, which also uses AWS.
According to the document, “AWS’ decision to effectively terminate the Parler account is clearly politically motivated. It is clearly also aimed at reducing competition in the microblogging service market, thereby benefiting Twitter.”
The lawsuit is seeking a temporary restraining order against AWS to prevent the service from closing Parler’s account at the end of the day.
Amazon did not immediately respond to an insider’s request for comment.
After pro-Trump mobs stormed into the Federal Building and members of Congress worked together to prove the results of the 2020 presidential election, the General Assembly approved the victory of President-elect Biden. Trump tweeted during and after the siege, during which time he continued to spread more election misinformation, prompting Twitter and Facebook to make an unprecedented decision to permanently suspend Trump from their platforms.
Those on the right have long accused people like Twitter of discriminating against conservatives by adding warning labels to their posts, and this belief has been inspired by events since last week.
Since Trump was launched, smaller, far-right social networks such as Parler and Gab have quickly become popular-Parler has jumped to number one in the Apple App Store, and Gab said it adds 10,000 users every hour.
Since then, Apple and Google banned these sites for violating hate speech, and after AWS shut down, Parler may be offline for up to a week.