Amazon says Parler is a danger to its employees

Joanna Estrada
January 14, 2021

Parler is now suing Amazon, accusing the company of an illegal, politically motivated decision to shut it down. "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".

Amazon's takedown of Parler temporarily hobbled online proponents of the conspiracy theory, touted by President Donald Trump, that the presidential election had been fraudulent and the results needed to be overturned.

In the days that followed the January 6 insurrection, alternative social media platform Parler came under fire and was soon removed from Apple and Google stores before Amazon followed suit with its own measures.

Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for encouraging the ban against his app that was dropped by Apple, Google and Amazon this weekend in the wake of last week's Capitol siege.

"This case is not about suppressing speech or stifling viewpoints", Amazon said in a brief filed Tuesday.

Amazon disputes these observations in a legal filing.

Parler's choice of attorney in the case is something of an enigma. It's really the backbone of, you know, Parler's feed system and a lot of other components that we have. For instance, after the Capitol Hill violence, numerous posts on Parler called for mass executions of "left traitors". Amazon cited posts on Parler with vile language, for example, used to describe former first lady Michelle Obama, as well as postings such as "the only good democrat is a dead one".

Trump's social media director, Dan Scavino, also objected, two of the people said. Screenshots show what Capitol riot supporters posted before, during, and after the unrest. When it contracted with Amazon's cloud-computing division in 2018, Parler agreed not to host harmful content, according to the response. He said the best thing would be if Parler could get back on Amazon.

Parler rose to prominence in recent months as mainstream social-media sites have faced increasing pressure to crack down on hate speech, disinformation, and calls for violence. In fact, after being kicked off from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, Trump had indicated he would be moving to a new platform and Parler was seen as the likely candidate.

As late as this summer, Amazon invited Parler to join an initiative to connect it with potential investors, Matze said, which was independently confirmed by a source who characterized the offer as standard for startup customers.

And while Amazon had sporadically flagged Parler posts for removal in November and December, AWS didn't tell Parler that its "system of handling this material was inadequate or that Parler was in breach of its contract" until after the January 6 riot, when pro-Trump mobs breached the Capitol building, according to the new filing from Parler.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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