Parler No Longer Welcome at Amazon And Apple
Both Amazon and Apple have decided to cut off the social media alternative to Facebook and Twitter. This was after repeated calls for violence on the platform have continued since the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Amazon will be removing the site from its web hosting service, so Parler will have to find someone else to host the Website if that’s even possible. Apple said it was suspending Parler from its app store, stopping iPhone users from being able to download the app. Goodbye Parler.
What Is Parler
Parler is a Social Platform used by millions as an alternative to Twitter, Facebook and other popular social sites. But many right-wing voices accuse the alternatives of unfair censorship. Parler is largely unmoderated and calls itself “the world’s premier free speech platform,” resulting much hateful and conspiracy-laden speech on the site.
Parler CEO John Matze made this statement on the site, – Amazon’s action is “an attempt to completely remove free speech off the internet.” He said Parler could be unavailable for a week “as we rebuild from scratch.”
Pressure On Tech Companies Grows To Ban Parler
Apple said Parler has not taken enough steps to stop “threats of violence and illegal activity” from running rampant on the site. Likewise Amazon wrote to Parler that it had “seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms.”
Since November, posts on Parler have echoed Trump’s falsehoods about a “stolen” election. Many users have considered President Trump’s calls to action as the basis for violence, such as when Trump’s most ardent supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to interrupt the certification of the Electoral College’s votes for president.
Amazon and Apple’s decisions are part of a wider crackdown by tech companies who are under pressure to enact stronger measures against threats of violence. A day earlier, Twitter permanently suspended President Trump, and soon after, Google removed the Parler app from its Play Store.
As of January 10th Parler’s Apple app was still usable for those who had already downloaded it from the app store. Amazon said it would remove Parler effective 11:59 p.m. PT Sunday. And Apple left open the possibility of allowing Parler back if “they resolve these issues.”
Update – 1:59 P.M. ET
Parler LLC, the owner of the messaging app favored by far-right activists, has filed a lawsuit against Amazon Web Services alleging anti-trust and breach of contract. The company is seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent Amazon from removing Parler from its servers.
In the court filing, Parler said it ‘needs a temporary restraining order to prevent irreparable harm, citing free speech rights and damage to the company’s reputation and competitive standing’. Amazon has stated that Paler will ‘need to find a new [website] host’. Amazon says Parler has shown it doesn’t have an effective way to comply with the web service company’s terms of service, and is still forming an approach to content moderation.
Parler filed its lawsuit before U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein in the Western District of Washington. Rothstein was appointed to the federal bench by President Jimmy Carter in 1980.
The docket does not yet show a response from the judge or a scheduled hearing. The case is Parler LLC v. Amazon Web Services, Inc