Parler Sues Amazon Web Services

By Claire Hardwick

Parler, the alternate social media app to Twitter, which provides a place for no restrictions on any form of speech, has had a bad week. Following Twitter’s decision to permanently delete President Trump’s account, there was a mass exodus of Trump followers to the app. Because the app was used to organize the storming of the Capitol, and because of the hate, rascal, and anti-semitic speech, pressure came from providers to discontinue to app as it posed a national security threat. 

Google led the charge as they removed Parler from all their devices. After Apple gave the app a 24-hour window to issue a new terms of condition on their users, Parler refused. Apple then permanently deleted Parler from all of their devices. The final straw was Amazon, which suspended Parler from their web service (AWS). Parler, in their suit, said that Amazon’s suit was the final “deathblow” to the app. 

In response, Parler has sued Amazon for antitrust violations, stating Parler breached their contract through not providing a 30 days notice before removing the app, thereby interfering with Parler’s relationship with the app’s users. In a federal court, Parler said, “Without AWS, Parler is finished, as it has no way to get online,” according to the complaint. “And a delay of granting this TRO by even one day could also sound Parler’s death knell as President Trump and others move on to other platforms.” 

Parler’s CEO, John Matze, said Amazon and other tech companies’ decision was a “war on free speech.”

Tech companies have defended their decision that because Parler is a completely open platform, the app was a center for organizing riots, inciting violence, and spreading hate speech.  In an email published by Reuters, AWS said Parler was a “very real risk to public safety.”

The banning of Parler happens days before President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president. After the violence on Capitol Hill which resulted in the death of five Americans, the FBI and law enforcement services are concerned there might be a repeat of attacks. The Parler CEO, however, said the app will continue to find a different avenue for their app users to speak without restrictions. He said, “There is the possibility Parler will be unavailable on internet for up to a week as we rebuild from scratch.”