Parler is down as of Monday afternoon, but the MAGA-friendly social media site apparently intends to fight the big tech companies that it claims have put the company’s future in serious jeopardy. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Parler sued Amazon for removing the company’s access to its cloud servers, effectively taking the website down as it tries to find web hosting from someone other than the largest cloud storage company on Earth.
The company’s CEO, John Matze, had already complained to Fox News and others about being unable to relocate all of its server data to another platform in the 24 hours notice Amazon Web Services gave the company. Apple and Google removed Parler from its app stores for violating guidelines about moderating content filled with hate speech and inciting violence, reasons that Amazon cited in terminating its Parler contract.
But Parler accused Amazon of “political animus,” blaming that for its removal and not because Parler helped incite a coup attempt by letting Trump supporters organize an attack on the U.S. Capitol and call for the assassination of vice president Mike Pence, among other things:
In a complaint filed Monday in Seattle federal court, Parler alleged that Amazon Web Services kicked the company off its cloud servers for political and anti-competitive reasons. The conservative social network founded in 2018 exploded in popularity among supporters of President Trump after the November U.S. election.
“AWS’s decision to effectively terminate Parler’s account is apparently motivated by political animus. It is also apparently designed to reduce competition in the microblogging services market to the benefit of Twitter, ” according to the complaint, which also accused Amazon of breaching a contract between the parties.
The lawsuit accuses Amazon of a double standard, noting that it hosts other microblogging sites like Twitter. But while that much larger company has struggled to moderate hate speech, it has taken measures to limit that content and its potential to cause violence, such as permanently suspending Donald Trump’s account last week.
An AWS spokesperson flatly denied Parler’s accusations in a statement on Monday.
“There is no merit to 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 there is significant content on Parler that encourages and incites violence against others, and that Parler is unable or unwilling to promptly identify and remove this content, which is a violation of our terms of service,” an AWS spokesperson. “We made our concerns known to Parler over a number of weeks and during that time we saw a significant increase in this type of dangerous content, not a decrease, which led to our suspension of their services Sunday evening.”
Matze said just before the site went down that it may be offline even longer than expected due to vendors fleeing the company in the wake of Apple, Amazon and Google all cutting ties.
RIP PARLER. Update from John Matze. pic.twitter.com/7wvyqHdTyj
— Parlertakes🇺🇸 (@parlertakes) January 11, 2021