Parler sues Amazon, claiming it violated antitrust laws – Business Insider – Business Insider

Parler sues Amazon, claiming it violated antitrust laws – Business Insider – Business Insider

  • The far-right social media platform Parler is suing Amazon over antitrust violations after Amazon banned the website from using its AWS service for not moderating threats of violence more efficiently.
  • Amazon claims that Parler does not efficiently police threats of violence on its platform, but the lawsuit alleges that Amazon’s decision is politically motivated and is anti-competitive, since it did not take similar action against Twitter, which also used AWS.
  • Parler touts itself as being committed to free speech and has little moderation policy. It has become favored by many on the right, including Trump’s supporters and Sen. Ted Cruz.
  • The lawsuit comes after pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol and as many consider the role that tech companies play in giving platforms to those seeking to incite violence.
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Parler, the far-right social media service, is suing Amazon over antitrust violations, according to a court filing submitted on Monday.

The move comes after Amazon knocked Parler off its cloud-hosting service after it said Parler failed to moderate threats of violence following last week’s deadly siege on the US Capitol. 

Parler alleges that Amazon’s decision was politically motivated and breaches a contract between the two companies that entails Amazon’s cloud-hosting service supporting posts published on Parler. According to the lawsuit, AWS is required to provide Parler with a 30-day notice before terminating service.

It also alleges that Amazon’s action is anti-competitive since it didn’t take similar action against Twitter, Parler’s rival that also uses AWS.

The filing alleges that “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.” 

The suit is seeking a temporary restraining order against AWS to prevent the service from shutting Parler’s account down at the end of the day.

Amazon did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

After pro-Trump rioters stormed the federal building while lawmakers worked to certify the 2020 presidential election results, Congress confirmed President-elect Joe Biden’s win. Trump posted tweets during and after the siege in which he continued to spread more election misinformation, prompting Twitter and Facebook to make the unprecedented decisions to permanently suspend Trump from their platforms.

Those on the right have long accused the likes of Twitter of discriminating against conservatives by adding warning labels to their posts, and that belief has been stoked with the events that have unfolded since last week. 

Since Trump was been booted, smaller far-right social networks like Parler and Gab have shot up in popularity — Parler jumped to the No. 1. spot on Apple’s app store, and Gab said it is gaining 10,000 new users every hour.

Apple and Google have since banned these sites over hate speech violations, and Parler is offline for possibly up to a week following AWS’s shut-down.