Amazon has suspended Parler from the use of its web hosting services, with the site being forced offline at 11:59 PM on Sunday, Pacific Time.
Following the pro-Trump protests at the Capitol on Wednesday, Parler had been subject to severe scrutiny, and accused of promoting violence. President Trump, and a number of his supporters, were depersoned on many websites, most notably Twitter, with the Big Tech giants claiming that the President and others were inciting violence.
Parler was next to be attacked by Big Tech corporations. Google was the first to act, immediately removing the free speech platform from its Play Store. Apple followed on Saturday, after giving Parler 24 hours to change its policies, a timeframe criticised as being far too short. Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey celebrated the ban, posting a tweet showing that Parler was now no longer the number one free app on the App Store, with a heart emoji.
— jack (@jack) January 10, 2021
Now, Amazon has followed suit, and has revealed that they are kicking Parler from their web hosting services, which will take effect on Sunday at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. In an email obtained by Buzzfeed News, Parler Chief Policy Officer Amy Peikoff was informed that Amazon could not host the platform due to “a steady increase in… violent content on your website, all of which violates” their terms of service:
We cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others. Because Parler cannot comply with our terms of service and poses a very real risk to public safety, we plan to suspend Parler’s account effective Sunday, January 10th, at 11:59PM PST. We will ensure that all of your data is preserved for you to migrate to your own servers, and will work with you as best as we can to help your migration.
Parler not just removed from Apple and Google as an app, but from the web itself as Amazon joins in with the rest of the Tech oligarchy to smash free expression. pic.twitter.com/sjZZFjIy4g
— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) January 10, 2021
In a number of Parleys, Parler CEO John Matze said that they had prepared for this inevitable “coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the market place,” and that their real crime was growing too big, too fast, not the content posted on their platform:
Amazon, Google and Apple purposefully did this as a coordinated effort knowing our options would be limited and knowing this would inflict the most damage right as President Trump was banned from the tech companies… You can expect the war on competition and free speech to continue, but don’t count us out.
We are the closest thing to competition Facebook or Twitter has seen in many years… They will NOT win! We are the worlds last hope for free speech and free information… This is a battle against all of us. Liberals, conservatives, atheists, Christians, black, white, etc. They want to keep their monopoly over speech. They want us fighting. They don’t want us working together. They don’t want us working with each other, they want us hating one another… Our mission is free speech, democracy and us the people having the power. The elite don’t want us to be free, they want hate division and power!
In some deleted Parleys, Matze claimed that Parler could be back up and working again within 12 hours of their shutdown by Amazon Web Services. It is unclear why these statements were deleted, and what this means for the return of Parler on new servers.
The removal of Parler from Amazon Web Services follows not only the lead of Apple and Google, but also pressure from both inside and outside the corporation. Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, a left-wing group of Amazon workers, demanded that Amazon give Parler the boot, because “we cannot be complicit in more bloodshed and violent attacks on our democracy.” A Change.org petition had also been set up.
Enough is enough. Amazon hosts Parler on @awscloud.
As Amazon workers, we demand Amazon deny Parler services until it removes posts inciting violence, including at the Presidential inauguration.
We cannot be complicit in more bloodshed and violent attacks on our democracy.
— Amazon Employees For Climate Justice (@AMZNforClimate) January 9, 2021
Parler is hosted by Amazon Web services (AWS). Amazon should deny Parler services until Jan 21 unless they commit to removing all posts related to incitement of violence concerning inauguration. This will help prevent further violence and save lives.
— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) January 9, 2021