In a charge filed with the U.S. District Court in Seattle, Parler announced Amazon's decision to effectively shutter its account was "apparently motivated by political animus" and "apparently designed to reduce competition in the microblogging services market to the benefit of Twitter."
Parler is attempting a court order requiring Amazon to restore its account, and preventing it from suspending services it had contracted for. It is further seeking unspecified triple damages.
“There is no merit to these claims,” an Amazon Web Services spokesperson announced. “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. 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.”
The social network is recognized for welcoming many of the people banned by Twitter, YouTube, and other tech platforms. That open-door policy has confused the upstart company in a severe backlash over protests at the U.S. Capital and its willingness to play a part in the dissemination of lies about the 2020 election and other topics.
After suggesting it would bail because of what is believed to be Parler posts directly donating to violence by backers of President Trump, Amazon Web Services executed today and the site went dark. Hours later, Parler filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.
Retracting support is “the equivalent of pulling the plug on a hospital patient on life support. It will kill Parler’s business — at the very time it is set to skyrocket.”
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has fought often with Trump over several issues, to a more public extent than any differences he has had with other tech CEOs.
Many social media figures banned elsewhere turned to the site, including familiar personalities like Fox News commentator Dan Bongino. As other social media companies finally started taking action in 2020 to flag or border posts after initially affirming that they should not be held responsible for what their users say or do, Parler largely stood pat. Its motto: “Read news. Speak free.”